Fast Fashion and Gamification: Winning The Gen-Z Shoppers

I remember when I was back in university, there were only 3 things I would set an alarm for. One, if I had an early 8 am class. Two, when I MUST be back at the dorm for an everyday attendance. And three, when Shein would drop their Flash Sale. 

My roommates and I would spend hours and hours simply scrolling through the Shein App, rating outfits, and reading reviews. If any girl wore a Shein outfit on campus, we’d immediately recognize it. Safe to say, we were crazy about Shein. 

Turns out, we weren’t the only ones! According to Bloomberg, by 2020, Shein’s sales had risen to $10 billion, a 250% jump from the year before. Shein also dethroned Amazon to become the most downloaded app on Android and iOS systems in the USA.

So the big question is… HOW? Let’s find out 

Shein, the fast-fashion brand based out of China (fast-fashion 👉 clothes that are easy on the pocket, in trend, and delivered quickly) offers its products and services to more than 200 countries in the world. According to Earnest Research, it now accounts for 28% of the fast-fashion market in the U.S. alone.

(Market Share of Various Fast Fashion Brands In The USA According To A Earnest Research Survey Published In June 2021.
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The hyper-aggressive pricing model and the hyper-specific targeting model of the company have helped it grow to a mammoth $40 bn+ valuation. They are currently in the top 20 of the most valuable Chinese companies.

1. Hyper-Targeted Niche -

If you belong to Gen-Z, and especially if you are a woman, chances are you have already seen one of their ads. Shein ads are hyper-targeted for women between the ages of 16 and 35. Combined with the interactive UX elements on their mobile app, the Chinese company founded in 2008 has managed to carve out an astounding niche for itself in a highly competitive online fashion marketplace. 

(The Evolution of The Fashion Industry From Fast-Fashion To Real-TIme Fashion. Image Credits: The Reformed Millennials Webpage)

According to a 2021 Future of Shopping report by Snap, one in three global consumers call their mobile phone their preferred shopping channel, and 50% of Generation Z and millennials say they never go shopping without using a phone. This is the exact marketplace that Shein has been targeting right from its inception. 

2. Never Ending Collection -

Just like a kid in an ice cream shop, simply fascinated by all the choices in front of him, Shein spoils users with choice!
An average of 2200 new products are added each day to Shein’s catalog and this shows just how obsessed the company is with identifying top searches and new countries in different countries to predict the colors, fabrics, and styles that would be popular next.

Can you imagine whenever you open the app, there is a glimmering promise of finding exciting new products each time?

3. Super Speed 

(Flash Sales With Countdown Timers Like This Helps To Boost Conversion Rates By Building A Sense of Perceived Scarcity And Thus Driving Customer Motivation)

Once a Flash Sale drops, Shein shows a timer up until when the Sales last. Not only do they instill a sense of urgency, they also use a progress bar to show how many pieces are left, inducing a sense of exclusivity. 

4. A Rewarding Experience

(The Brand Never Shys away from offering additional discounts on their already super low prices)

New users can get a discount by logging back into the app within the first week of signing up on Shein. You connect your email to the app, et voilà, you get another discount coupon! Shein also incentivizes users with discounts if they log in every single day, yes, you log in every day, you get rewarded for it

Pretty cool right? 

By now you must be understanding the core idea behind Shein’s breakneck success rate. The app rewards users for almost all in-app actions and therefore incentivizes them to spend more and more time on their platform, ultimately ending up with a much higher per-user conversion rate than most other online fashion brands. 

5. Social Media Strategies-

Shein was one of the early adopters of influencer marketing which helped the brand to further connect with the pulse of the youth. The company also used Pinterest and Instagram to promote its products. The influencer marketing strategy combined with discount coupons on their already outrageously cheap clothes helped them establish a monopoly over the Gen-Z shoppers. 

The brand has also successfully created a thriving and loyal customer community by leveraging social gamification features. Social gamification involves activities inspired by what other people think, do, or say. 

(Customer Reviews on Shein)

For example, Shein encourages you to create your own profile and get followers. Now if users buy a product based on something that you had posted, boom, you get a commission! All of this means that you can buy more products, then post more about these products, and subsequently, other users on the app can buy more products.
It’s a chaotic yet elegantly crafted app that just keeps getting the customers back for more. You can never get enough of the experience and we think that it is safe to say that Shein has completely changed the shopping journey. 

6. Game-Like Experiences -

The brand also uses other game-like elements including spin-the-wheel (to offer exciting rewards to new customers), slot machines (to boost sales with unpredictability), and mini-quizzes (to reward players when they engage with the in-app content) to build an almost casino like experience for the shoppers on Shein. Using these game-like elements, and combining them with unpredictability and speed, Shein has managed to keep an entire generation hooked on their platform.

Why is this relevant? 

If you’re a mid-sized eCommerce business, I want you to have a look at Shein’s Growth Metrics

(Some of The Key Growth Metrics of The Ultra-Fast Fashion Company At A Glance)

With the three pillars of affordability, choice, and addictiveness coupled with the power of social media and influencers, Shein has managed to become the number one shopping destination for Gen-Z shoppers and has successfully emerged as one of the biggest players in the ultra-fast-fashion industry. 

Gamification has significantly increased the retention and engagement possibilities for most digital businesses today. Using fully immersive game-like experiences and interactive UX elements, modern apps and web platforms can now drive user retention and engagement with fun in-app experiences. 

Enter CustomerGlu

Say you’d like to leverage gamification but don’t have the technical bandwidth. Enter CustomerGlu!

Our revolutionary drag and drop low-code builder enables product managers and marketers to experiment with various gamified user journeys and figure out the perfect gamified solution for their company without having to spend fortunes on fancy game developers

If you run a fast-fashion store today, adding such addictive game-like elements to your app or web platform will ensure that your users stay longer on your platform and keep coming back regularly. 

(Drive Customer Motivation With Fully Immersive In-App Experiences)

Request access now to know more about building immersive game-like experiences with CustomerGlu -

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. How does gamification affect motivation?
Once the game is completed, many learners or players are not interested in a game they have mastered and completed. On one hand, gamification works by adding elements inspired by games to the classroom environment mainly to increase motivation, engagement, and promote desired learning behaviors.

Q. How Does Shein Use Gamification?
Shein uses gamification to create an addiction to online shopping and to stay updated with the latest trends in fashion. The brand uses hyper-aggressive marketing strategies and the power of gamified unpredictability to drive its sales. The strategy of combining social gamification and influencer marketing has also proven to be immensely successful for Shein. 

Q. What are the advantages of building a gamified UX flow with CustomerGlu?
CustomerGlu is a low-code gamification platform that allows you to choose from our hundreds of customizable gamified templates and build the ideal gamified user journey for your app or web platform. Our drag and drop builder ensures that you don’t have to spend fortunes of fancy game developers to build your next gamified system.

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