Online shopping has come a long way since the days of grainy stock pictures and dull category lists.
- Max Childs - Marketing director at online sales and marketing platform Amplience
Mr Porter is one etailer reclining back in the penthouse suite.
The advance of digital media means that in many ways online can equal, or exceed, its physical counterpart in terms of rich and exciting displays. However, very few retailers are able to effectively combine style and utility.
Several retailers have designed stunningly beautiful branded sites, but fail to deliver on usability. Many more have resorted to boring functional sites that do little to engage the casual browser.
Mr Porter has used beautifully rich video and imagery on its home page to create an immersive brand experience, while maintaining simple search and clean routes to products. Whether browsing for inspiration or looking for a specific product, the menswear site guides you through a visually stunning, smooth and engaging process.
Some of the major strengths of the Mr Porter site are its editorial pieces and carousels displayed on the home page.
Using a variety of sliding images, Mr Porter displays magazine-quality teasers of its latest campaigns. The site has celebrity profiles, ‘shop the look’ and top style picks, almost all of which are ecommerce enabled so the idle browser can click to buy.
Brand-led editorial pieces offer real engagement - Paper Plane, a mini-film featuring Elijah Wood, is particularly good. The film is a superb opportunity for brand-led engagement, and also subtly incorporates click-to-shop.
Mr Porter’s use of brand-led content is superb, but where it misses the mark slightly is at the product level. Its ‘shop the look’ functions are great, making it easy to buy products from the feature and encouraging consumers to build outfits. However, a lot of its content is focused on Mr Porter rather than the product itself.
At the product level the site uses lots of alternative images but it is sadly lacking use of video and 360-degree spin.
It would also be good to see mouse-over zooms to reduce the clicks consumers have to go through.
That said, Mr Porter is a beautifully presented, engaging site.