Italian retailer Yoox already has an impressive mobile commerce site, and is one of the first retailers to produce an iPad app.
I've been trying out the new app to see how Yoox has adapted to the iPad...
Having browsed the web on the iPad, I have wondered why apps are necessary, since most websites render pretty well on the device. However, in the case of Yoox.com, an app is needed thanks to the amount of Flash on the desktop website.
This is how the main website looks on an iPad:
The iPad app is totally different to both the mobile and desktop versions of the website, and is pretty stripped down:
A drop-down menu contains all the navigation options as far as shopping on the app is concerned, and is easy enough to use. One small point; the menu doesn't disappear once you have selected a product category, you have to click outside the menu area to get rid of it.
To narrow down your product selection, you will need to tap the refine button to produce a manageable set of results, and even then it can be tricky.
In the shirts category, even after selecting size, category and colour, I still have ten pages of products to look through, each with 50 products on. This is an area which could be improved.
Once you reach the product page, the photography and product information is impressive, but information on things like delivery and returns is unavailable:
The shopping basket and checkout process is all well designed and easy to understand, though some of the text is quite small on an iPad screen, and could be made easier to read.
The Yoox iPad app is impressive, and generally makes good use of the iPad format, though there are a few possible areas for improvement, such as making the filtering and refining options more comprehensive, and making the text in the checkout process easier to read.
If websites already look good and work well on the iPad, it may not be necessary to produce an iPad app, though there are possible issues with text size and the 'fat finger' problem that Nielsen referred to when looking at iPad usability, meaning it can be easy to click the wrong link.
In the case of Yoox, the number of Flash elements on the main site made an app necessary, but other retailers may simply need to adapt their existing websites if they want to appeal to iPad users.