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Where do we look for examples of brands doing mobile web really well? Anthony Speranza, Creative Director at Balance Internet, shares five of his favourites.
This swimwear retailer Swimwear Galore makes a splash in the mobile world with a colourful and easy to navigate site that puts all of the most important elements right in front of the user, including large text and buttons.
“The brand’s website has different mobile and desktop forms,” says Speranza. “The mobile experience has been tailored specifically for the way mobile is used. This means there is a clear focus on location services, search and e-commerce.”
The fast site features well-organised categories that make navigation simple. The store search functionality means customers can easily find their nearest store (Swimwear Galore has six retail stores in Victoria), including opening hours and contact details.
Any business with physical stores and a range of products could take lessons from the design and implementation of this mobile site.
Large, colourful graphics and simple navigation make this stripped-down version of the Crumpler's main website the perfect web accompaniment.
This mobile site, as with Swimwear Galore, is not a responsive version of the main site but has been designed from the ground up for the mobile environment. Many of the desktop elements have been removed, and only content specifically tailored for mobile use and behaviour has been included.
“We wanted to lighten it up and simplify the user experience, focusing on content that mobile devices handle well,” says Speranza, whose company helped to design the website. “All brands should want to hook into ‘couch commerce’, but if there are speed issues and people don’t see what they want to see quickly, then you’ll lose them.”
Impressively, the Find A Store functionality includes a “Use My Current Location” option, so the mobile device itself takes all the work out of the search.
Women’s clothing retailer Forever New has employed a simple, funky, clean design with large buttons and a focus on classy imagery. But it also offers one very special piece of functionality. “On this site, you can check your local store’s stock of an item you’re after, in your size,” says Speranza. “If they don’t have it in your size, you can find out which nearby stores do.”
Any retailer could benefit from such use of technology. Hardware stores could offer real-time updates of their tool supplies. Sports stores could save mums and dads valuable time by keeping a real-time, online record of what sizes of children’s sporting gear, such as soccer boots, are currently in stock. And car-parts suppliers could work with other businesses, for example mechanics, to keep them in touch with current inventory levels.
While he is not crazy about the yellow and black colour combination, Speranza says the simplicity and functionality of the JB Hi-Fi mobile site, which is a responsive version of the desktop site, is very impressive.
“They have designed it very well,” he says. “It offers clear navigation for a huge range of products, as well as a store locator. The mobile version of the site has an oversized look and feel, which makes everything easier to see and use, but product pages still provide a large amount of information, which is very important in the field of technology.
“Checkout is also very nice with a simple, three-step process that has a progress bar so you always know which stage you’re at.”
Speranza says the fresh, daily updating of imagery on the mobile site of the fashion e-tailer THE ICONIC is a big plus for regular visitors to the site, who are always interested in the latest products.
The minimal and flat user interface and graphical treatment make the mobile site light and fast, and enticing offers are placed at intervals throughout the graphics.
“Data-driven decisions lead to showing users what they want most of the time,” says Speranza, meaning the site learns your preferences and shows you what you’re most likely to be interested in. “Overall, it is a mobile site with great user experience.”
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