Reinventing the gifting experience for a leading multichannel retailer.

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From a soft launch, the app saw more than 300,000 viral visits in its first few days (of which over 75% were from mobile devices) and the average user engaged for more than three minutes looking at gift suggestions.

Interaction grew to nearly 5 million product views per day in the week before Christmas, delivering over £2.2m in direct sales, a significant and tangible return on investment for Argos.

The app was awarded "Customer Innovation of the Year” at the 2015 Oracle Retail Week Awards.

We were asked to develop a retail marketing campaign which needed to be genuinely useful, easy to understand, simple to use and have real talk-ability. It needed to appeal to a broad range of customers and work across smartphones, tablets and desktops.

Our research suggested that the main factors taken into consideration when choosing Christmas gifts were gender, age and price, so we allowed options to be initially filtered by these before play.

Adopting a mobile-first approach meant we had to deliver a product in HTML5, meaning only one build to reach hundreds of devices, across several operating systems including iOS, Android and Windows.

We took inspiration from the popular swipe-to-like dating app, Tinder, envisaging a card-sort interface that allowed users to quickly browse Christmas gift ideas, swiping left to dismiss an item, or right to like it.

The action of liking a gift created a shortlist of narrowed down ideas. Once finished, the user could email their selection or add it directly to their Argos shopping basket.

Users created a profile to play via Facebook Login, with gift choices also informed by their Facebook preferences.  With access to their Facebook friends possible, we incorporated a social sharing game within the app – Friend or Fraud – allowing friends to challenge each other to see how well they know each other and what they’d like for Christmas.  

This encouraged further participation and extended reach.

About Argos

With nearly 750 stores and 340 million website visits a year, Argos is one of the largest multichannel retailers in the UK with sales approaching £4bn.

Internet transactions accounted for 49% of total sales, and in 2015 mobile commerce grew by 10% to represent 28% of total sales.

And the smart part – we developed a social graph front-end and a machine learning back-end, so each like or dislike was registered by our intelligent application to help the database learn about the association between a type of user and their product preferences.

As the system learned, patterns emerged between the user and gifts they might have a strong propensity to like, and those gifts were surfaced. This allowed for users to discover products they may not otherwise have considered, as well as providing Argos with rich behavioural data.

The app improves the kind of data Argos collects about its customers. For a long time Argos only has very limited data about its customers and their preferences — typically just email addresses and a limited amount of additional other data points.  Social sign-in gave us a new data set through which Argos were able to get a better view of their customers’ preferences.

"[Convert] developed a rewarding mobile experience that is visually rich, thumb-friendly and intuitive to make Argos stand out from the crowd in the mobile battleground this year."

Mark Steel, Head of Digital Trading, Marketing & Operations