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Fashion retailer Lyle & Scott launched its first mobile commerce site last week. 

With so many retailers launching iPhone apps, it's refreshing that one has decided to move into mobile commerce with a website.

I've been trying the site out...

Navigation

The mobile site mirrors the look and feel of the main Lyle & Scott website, and so does the navigation.

It is simple, without too many options, though the terminology (archive, vintage, heritage etc) may be confusing to the uninitiated; it is to me anyway. The key thing is that the number of navigational options has been kept to a minimum, and they are easy to click on. 

The position of the search box is unusual. Most mobile commerce sites or apps position the search box prominently, as it offers a shortcut for those customers with a clear idea of what they are looking for, so it seems strange to place it so far down the page. 

The site search works well enough though, with accurate results and advanced search options to narrow the number of results returned. 

Product pages

The product pages are well laid out and look good, but it would be useful to display delivery charges on the page. There is a help link on the page which leads delivery and returns information, but since every page load on a 3G connection can take time, its best to display such essentials clearly. 

The size guide is handy, and the call to action is clear; in lime green against a black background. Once items are added to the basket, a clear call to action is displayed at the top of the page:

Shopping basket / checkout

The basket summary is good, with products added, total costs and payment details clearly displayed, while the checkout link is the largest on the page, as it should be. 

Sensibly, while existing users can login on the mobile site, there is no compulsory registration, and shoppers can head straight for the checkout process: 

The checkout process has been well optimised for mobiles, meaning that forms and data entry boxes are big and easy to click in, and the number of fields required is kept to a minimum. A postcode lookup tool also saves customers the job of typing their full address in. 

The number of steps and the current point in the process is clearly displayed, while an order summary is visible just before the final step.

Conclusion

It's interesting that Lyle & Scott has opted for a mobile site rather than an app, and this makes sense, since it allows it to reach the largest possible audience without designing multiple apps. 

I don't really like the colour scheme, as text on a black background isn't always easy to read, even less so on a small mobile device. 

However, the site has been well adapted for mobiles, with navigation kept simple, with clear visible links, as well as a well designed checkout process. 

Graham Charlton

Published 27 April, 2010 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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