Fashion etailer Net-a-Porter launched a mobile commerce app for the iPhone last week, allowing customers to browse and buy on the move.
The iPhone app displays what seems to be a limited range of stock, showcasing new arrivals and the retailer's magazine. I've been finding out how easy it is to browse and buy from the Net-a-Porter app.
There is no site search option on the app; users have eight menu options to choose from and browse within:
After this, it is a case of simply scrolling through the products on offer. Though displaying the number of products in each section is useful, the app could do with splitting the product range up into bite-size chunks for users.
In the case of the 'All' section, there are 201 products to look through, which is a long list, especially when you have to wait for each product image to load up.
Some more sub-categories, as well as sorting and filtering options, would reduce the potential for user frustration here.
The product pages are basic, as you would expect, but they do at least provide some good photos, showing products from a range of angles:
The symbols at the bottom of the page here are a little confusing, and could be made clearer, and it is a case of trial and error to find out what they do.
The middle one takes you to further product details, consisting of a brief product description, price, and links to add to shopping basket or wish list:
There is a link to email Net-a-Porter's fashion advisers at the foot of the page, which is a good idea, though customers may prefer a speedier form of communication, as well as information on deliver times / charges etc.
There is a useful help section containing all of this information, but it is only accessible via the main menu screen. A link from the product page as well would be useful:
It is necessary to register before purchase, as well as before adding any items to your wishlist, which seems unnecessary. This means setting an email address and password, as well as billing details:
A postcode lookup tool would also have been useful to save customers from the extra task of having to type in their whole address details.
However, unlike other mobile commerce sites and apps I have looked at recently, such as ShopStyle, the Net-aPorter app is not held back by a checkout process that has not been optimised for mobile users.
This means it is far easier to buy on Net-a-Porter from your phone, as there is no need for zooming in and out to read information and navigate the process. It had been made as easy as it is possible to on an iPhone:
It also follows some good mobile commerce best practice by providing security logos to reassure customers about the safety of their transactions:
Though the address entry could have been made slightly easier, the checkout process on this app is one of the better ones I have seen so far, making it far easier to buy from than others which have simply sent users to the main website's checkout.
This is a promising mobile commerce app. The navigation options could do more to help users to narrow their product searches, while it should also be easier to find contact details and FAQs.
The checkout process is much better though, it has been designed for the iPhone, and therefore makes it much more likely that shoppers will choose to buy direct from their mobiles.