A Drapers Digital Forum panel shared their views on apps versus the mobile web and shared their tips on improving mobile conversion rates.
The panellists were (pictured from left):
- Mathias Ziegler, co-founder and managing partner, Stylefruits
- Mark Leach, head of ecommerce, Missguided
- Oyvind Henriksen, chief executive and co-founder, Poq
- Olly Rzysko, head of digital communications, Primark
- James Wintle, global director of digital and technology, AllSaints
- Romney Evans, co-founder, True Fit
How important is mobile?
Evans: On average, our retailer clients’ traffic is split 50:50 between mobile and desktop, so it’s very important.
Wintle: There’s been a lot of talk about “this is the year of mobile”, but that has been the same over the last four or five years. Our customers don’t think in channels, so neither should we: it’s about their interaction with the device. But yes, mobile is a focus.
Rzysko: The key for us is to tell a story around the product. Mobile delivery of editorial has been key to our success. We have an editorial team – we’re almost become a publishing business.
Are apps becoming more important?
Ziegler: The huge advantage is you can send push notifications.
Henriksen: If you look at the different points in customer journey, traditionally we use mobile web to engage new customers. Now retailers are starting to acquire customers through sites like Facebook. The app eco-system is flourishing: 90% of time spent on mobile is on apps.
Leach: We released an app because customers kept asking why we didn’t have one. It has allowed us to try out some new technologies, like integrating with Apple Pay. We’re finding a lot of new customers coming to us through it, as well as existing ones.
Rzysko: Mobile is a huge driver of traffic. We don’t have an app currently: to earn that space on someone’s phone, it has to be great, first class, otherwise they will delete it and won’t download it again.
There are a lot of apps out there: how can you make yours stand out?
Henriksen: An app has two roles. Some are very engaging – Pinterest, Instagram – things you lose yourself in. And then there are the convenient ones like Citymapper, Uber. The reason these are so great is they are very personalised to you. You need to be deeply engaging and convenient.
Leach: We’ve tried to create features that are useful, not just gimmicks. For example, with our “Swipe to Hype” feature, everything you like is added to your wishlist.
AllSaints has a premium offer – are there different expectations?
Wintle: For us it’s about understanding the customer journey. Where do stores and the desktop environment fit in? The interesting thing for us is how do you do things like make it easier to pay in store? The biggest thing we can do for our customers is give time back.
What makes an app successful?
Ziegler: Usability. If the customer breaks off from the journey, [that sale] is gone.