Steve Madden has launched its first-ever app, combining both Steve Madden’s lifestyle magazine and commerce for the first time. Developed by GPShopper and launched April 16, the app aims to drive more traffic to the company’s 169 stores and improve the brand’s digital conversions. Mark Friedman, president of e-commerce for Steve Madden, told Digiday that the app fits into the company’s vision of making a consumer feel comfortable to shop wherever they want to: Through desktop or mobile web, through the app, or through retail stores.

The app sends consumers push notifications on deals and promotions when they are close to a Steve Madden store. In doing so, the brand hopes to increase in-store purchases. “We would love nothing more than to have a customer get the push message on the app, go into the store and buy and then shop again at another time on one of our digital devices,” said Friedman.

Users can shop within the app.
Users can shop within the app.

He continued that in the fashion industry, desktop sees a higher conversion rate than mobile web. If the rate is around 0.5 percent on mobile web, it can go up to 1 percent on desktop. Apps, in comparison, usually convert more users than mobile Web. Steve Madden is still testing if the app can drive more sales than desktop. It already accepts Paypal and will soon take Apple Pay.

Mobile payments aside, bringing Steve Madden’s online lifestyle magazine into the app helps the brand move beyond the storefront, showing products in context. “We want to show consumers what’s in fashion rather than just ask them to buy,” said Friedman.

App users can read Steve Madden's editorial content.
App users can read Steve Madden’s editorial content.

Of course, Steve Madden is not the first company that has adopted the commerce-and-content model. As much as retailers are looking more like publishers, publications like Harper’s Bazaar are trying to inspire readers to go shopping with their editorial content.

Beyond the app, Friedman added that Steve Madden will drive more traffic to its website by continuing to get message out through paid search, retargeting and email. In terms of social commerce, the company has already implemented the Google Buy button as a beta with Google, and will possibly experiment with Buyable Pins and even Facebook Messenger.

Steve Madden spent $908,000 on display advertising last year, according to Kantar Media. The company had a strong sales growth in 2015 with net sales up 16 percent to around $240 million compared to a year prior, says its annual report. Last year, retailers like Tory Burch, Nordstrom and Macy’s laid off hundreds to thousands of employees, in comparison.

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