Shopping app Mada has expanded into men’s wear with Mada Men’s, offering up to 500,000 products from 1,500 brands through retailers including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, East Dane and Urban Outfitters.
Launched by Madison Semarjian in January 2020, the free Mada women’s app allows users to shop for products from luxury, contemporary and mass market brands ranging from Gucci to Frame through a gamified experience where shoppers swipe right on the products and outfits they like and swipe left on options they’re not interested in. New signees fill out a quiz to narrow down their preferences, and from there, a collection of items is built that they can buy on the app and retailers can send through a drop-ship model.
In addition, the app showcases looks put together by stylists and influencers to show what’s trending in the market or to give a new perspective on style, all of which are intended to help the user come to a more informed purchase.
Semarjian said the men’s side of the app is more streamlined as research found that men are more likely to buy more quickly while women will browse and look for inspiration. She added that most men surveyed want to look good, but don’t know where to start, and also believes men’s might ultimately outperform women’s for the company.
“I think men’s wear is going in a great direction,” she said. “Maybe the dialogue hasn’t been there. Our audience says we want to look good, but don’t know how. They want more high-end or streetwear fashion and they’re experimenting more than the chinos and button-downs.”
The founder and chief executive officer was inspired to start Mada after struggling to find an outfit to wear as a freshman at Boston College. Toward the end of her collegiate career, she worked with developers to build the app under the direction of advisers and data scientists who have developed artificial intelligence for other brands.
And when traditional retail stores were forced to close during lockdown, Mada benefited, she said. “Lockdown was very helpful for us. People were home and on their phones probably more than before. Engagement time had been 7.5 minutes and was slowly growing throughout COVID. Our engagement time increased about two minutes, outperforming the main social media platforms with the exception of TikTok.”
Semarjian declined to share how many users are on the app, but said 55.4 percent of members are Gen Z consumers, and as a Gen Zer herself, she believes she has delivered an experience that speaks to consumers like her.
“I think we’re in the beginning stages of how tech can revamp the digital and in-store customer experience,” she said. “I knew we had to make [Mada] fun and gamified. It can feel gimmicky at times but things are moving in the right direction.”