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Notonthehighstreet.com (NOTHS) unveiled a new iPhone app today, giving shoppers a new way of accessing its range of gift ideas.
The app allows users to browse its full range of product ideas and also includes a ‘Gift Finder’ tool that gives tailored present ideas in the run up to your friends’ birthdays.
Since launching in 2006 NOTHS has seen impressive sales growth and now stocks unique products from more than 3,000 small businesses.
It is currently trying to expand globally, and earlier this month we spoke to senior marketing manager Jim Warren about the company’s attribution model.
The new mobile app, which was created by Grapple, is an attempt to increase sales through m-commerce, but is it any good?
The main selling point of the app is the Gift Finder which gives you alerts and present suggestions for your friends’ birthdays.
It syncs up with your Facebook contacts (with a stipulated promise that it won’t post anything on your wall) and lets you pick which people you want to set alerts for.
The user can then tailor the gift suggestions by selecting their friend’s personality traits on a series of sliders that include things like ‘keen traveller’ and ‘house proud’.
It’s a neat function and is quite fun to play around with, but as tends to be the case with these sorts of apps there are gifts that crop up time and time again.
For example, regardless of whether you put the ‘style icon’ slider at its lowest setting or its highest setting the hobbies t-shirt, vintage watch cufflinks, guitar pick carrycase and several other options are always included in the results list.
Obviously I don’t expect every minor tweak on the personality settings to yield a completely new list of products, but a bit more variation would be useful.
The app homepage presents you with eight different product categories to choose from as well as an option to browse the personalised gift options.
The focus appears to be on giving users inspiration for gifts ideas as there are no sub-categories within each product topic.
On the desktop site if you hover over the ‘Weddings’ category it displays a number of options including fashion, stationery, jewellery and decorations.
However the same tab on the app just gives a list of product options to scroll through, with filter options for relevance, price and how new the product is.
There is a search function for users who know what they are looking for, but for customers who aren’t familiar with NOTHS’s product range it would be useful to include a few sub-categories to make it easier to navigate the options.
Product pages and checkout
The product pages look great and provide a great deal of information to help the user make an informed purchase.
Each page includes several product images, delivery charges, stock status and a link to the delivery and returns information. The one thing they lack are links to product reviews, which are an important sales driver in e-commerce.
When you click ‘add to basket’ you see the product fly into your shopping basket and a CTA appears encouraging you to proceed to the checkout.
This is a great way of trying to capture impulse purchases as it encourages the shopper to buy right away rather than continuing browsing.
NOTHS also shows the shipping costs upfront and displays four security logos, which reassures customers who still be may be wary about m-commerce.
The checkout, which is hosted on the m-commerce site rather than within the app, consists of six different pages and requires you to create an account which may put off some users.
But in terms of usability, the text fields are all large and easy to fill in and the CTAs are unmissable.
NOTHS’s app looks great and is extremely slick, and it fits perfectly into the brand’s focus on providing unique fits ideas.
The Gift Finder tool is fun to use and should help with the often tricky process of finding interesting birthday presents. However I also think that NOTHS needs to address its product filtering options on the homepage.
Personally I have never shopped on NOTHS so I don’t know what kind of products it stocks, therefore it would be useful if there were sub-categories to help me narrow down the product options.
Though the focus appears to be on giving people inspiration for gift options, I think there needs to a few signposts to help shoppers find what they are looking for.
Overall though, the app fits well with the brand image and is one of the best-looking e-commerce apps I’ve seen recently.