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Both MyDeco and Warehouse both recently released iPhone apps. I've been trying them out...
Fashion retailer Warehouse launched an iPhone app last week, which presents a limited selection of stock, links to its blog and newsletter, videos, and a store finder tool.
It's very similar to the Oasis app, and does the basics well, the store finder is easy enough to use for instance, and provides useful info the six nearest stores, as well as opening hours and contact details.
There are links to the blog and the newsletter, but both take the user out of the app and onto the main Warehouse website. Since this is not a mobile optimised site, actually reading either requires a fair bit of zooming in and out, and it takes a while to load up on a 3G connection.
It would have been a far better idea to provide the blog content within the app to make it more readable for users. As it is, people may as well go straight to the website.
Users of the app can also browse latest arrivals and 'must have' items; there is a limited range of about 40-50 items on display. While you can add items to your bag and but from the app, the mobile commerce aspect of this app seems to be a bit of an afterthought.
There are very few details on the product pages, no delivery charges etc, and very little to help users decide on a purchase, except for a photo:
Also, the buy now link just takes users to the shopping basket on the desktop website, which isn't that easy to use on a mobile:
If Warehouse wants to encourage users to but from the app, it should consider adding a mobile optimised checkout to the app, as Net-A-Porter has done.
The MyDeco app doesn't allows users to make purchases, but instead lets them decorate a 3D room with items from its furniture range.
You can select any piece of furniture from the app, then select to see it in a 3D view, where you can zoom in and out, rotate, and generally manipulate the view:
You can then see how it will look in your room by taking a photo, and adding a model to your room:
The items can be shrunk and enlarged, and moved around, while the finished photo can be saved to your iPhone library, posted to Facebook, or emailed.
It's a nice idea, and the technology is impressive but I found it quite hard to use.
Judging by the App Store review rating of two stars, other people may well have experienced similar problems. Perhaps regular users of the MyDeco site will be more familiar with the controls, but I found it hard to position the furniture.