BJ's Adds Tinder-Style Finger-Swiping to Mobile App

Randy Hofbauer
Digital and Technology Editor
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BJ's Adds Tinder-Style Finger-Swiping to Mobile App
BJ's mobile app now lets users swipe right to add a product to their wish list, or swipe left to dismiss

Club-store operator BJ’s Wholesale Club has taken a page from popular mobile dating app Tinder and introduced to its own mobile app a swipe feature that users can perform with their finger to set aside products they desire and better personalize their shopping experience.

The app's new feature allows shoppers to explore new products, swipe right to add the ones they want to a wish list, and swipe left to dismiss the ones they aren't interested in. Each user’s “discovery experience” in the mobile app is personalized through machine learning based on previous swipes.

"Our new discover experience brings the excitement of the in-club treasure hunt to our mobile app," said Rafeh Masood, SVP and chief digital officer, who joined BJ's a year ago to build the retailer’s digital and omnichannel strategy. "By swiping right on a personalized selection of products, members can build their own wishlists. This new feature is easy to use, and we believe it makes our app fun as well as convenient."

Tinder’s app takes the same approach in meeting new people for friendship or romance, turning phrases such as “swipe left” and “swipe right” into contemporary memes. The app shows users pictures of other Tinder users in their area, on which they swipe right to “like” or left to “dislike,” allowing both users to enter a chat if both swipe right.

BJ’s launched its mobile app last October, providing members with easier and more convenient ways to save money through such features as digital coupons and current gas prices at various BJ’s Gas locations.

In addition to launching the app, Masood’s drive for a more digital focus also has brought about the introduction of mobile-friendly site, a new overall desktop site and dedicated sites for private label ecommerce. The company also recently created and filled a digital commerce and experience VP position, hiring Naveen Seshadri to head digital customer-experience strategy, ecommerce merchandising, digital marketing, and digital insights and analytics.

Based in Westborough, Mass., BJ’s operates 215 stores and 134 BJ’s Gas locations in 16 states.