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It’s not just about driving footfall to an offline store anymore, when it comes to mobile commerce the big winners are the brands achieving conversions there and then on a mobile device.

Here we’ll be presenting a selection of ecommerce stores excelling at the mobile experience and ensuring a frustration free shopping experience on the small screen.

What will we be looking out for?

As our own Ben Davis discussed in 14 features of great mobile commerce design, here are some of the tools and features that can best aid mobile shoppers: 

  • GPS enabled store finder
  • Click-to-call buttons
  • Mobile context specific input fields (digit based keyboard for credit card/phone numbers)
  • Easily sharable content
  • Pre-populated or autofilled forms (don’t make me fill in my billing address twice if it’s the same as delivery)
  • Clear call-to-actions
  • Cross-platform shopping carts
  • Simple payment methods (One-click, PayPal)
  • Click and collect
  • Quick page loading
  • Easily readable and concise text
  • Minimal pinching and zooming

Here we’ll be looking at the above list as basic good practice, and highlighting the brands going above and beyond.

John Lewis

John Lewis has the whole ecommerce app thing sewn up. There are so many great features of the app that it deserves it’s own post, however for the purposes of this round-up here’s a few of the best features.

Double tap a product to zoom into highly detailed views. 

It’s like being hit in the face with an actual frying pan.

The animation that shows pins dropping down to show your nearest locations are nothing short of exhilarating. You’ll have to fire it up yourself to see.

There’s an excellent barcode scanner which allows you to search for products on the site by scanning products in your own home or even in another store for comparison purposes.

I couldn’t show you a picture of it scanning an actual barcode because it recognises the product and directs to the product page too fast. So here’s my lunch instead.


Another ecommerce app using barcode scanning technology is Tesco. It doesn’t just use it for adding products to your basket but when you register you can use it to scan your Clubcard rather than typing in the 18 digit number. 

The Book a slot screen is very easy to use and completely clear on its intention.

To provide consistent UX even outside of the site itself, the layout of the calendar mimics that of the iPhone.

Piccadilly Records

As I covered in an earlier record store responsive design post, this is a beautifully designed mobile site with brilliant navigation, tasteful yet completely obvious call-to-action buttons and excellent search with predictive results.

I particularly love the product listings that prioritises purchase options, with detailed album information a swipe away, and most impressively you can also stream the individual tracks directly from the screen.

It’s an excellent example of a traditional indie record store embracing new technology.


Etsy is an app to get lost in, and the endlessly scrolling product listings help facilitate that perfectly.

This one of my favourite and simplest ways to share products that I’ve seen so far.

Plus I’m a big fan of completely transparent shipping information. 


Not only does ASOS have a cracking app that easily improves on the look and feel of the desktop version…

but it’s checkout is one of the simplest and quickest in existence. All my details from my account registered on the desktop have been fully carried over here.

Payment couldn’t be easier with PayPal integration and shipping options are completely clear and varied.

With the Save for Later function, products can be added to a wishlist that is accessible from the desktop site.

For more on ASOS’s mobile commerce endeavours, read about its Android app here.

Wonderfully Wild

Just an absolute pleasure to navigate and use. Without even thinking I had booked myself into an Anglesey cottage within 30 seconds of loading up the site, thanks to the smooth experience.

Just look at it…

Gorgeous large photography.

Great text.

I particularly love the floor plan.

Finally the booking form is as simple as any I’ve seen before.

Now to find someone who will let me borrow their dog.


Threadless has a gorgeous and user-friendly app plus it runs an incredible mobile site too.

Here are the mobile site's gorgeous homescreen product images…

This 'scarcity indicator' on the product pages, a great use of urgency for increasing conversion rates.

When shopping on the app, users can scroll through these great tiled images or filter by product type by accessing the hamburger menu.


Further icons across the bottom of the screen are very simple and easy to use, which is exactly what you want from a mobile app.

Product pages have been stripped down to the bare essentials, with little more than images, a price and a call-to-action.


Threadless offer an incredible experience on both its mobiles site and app, ensuring its customers are satisfied on any of their preferred channels.


Lush is crisp, flat-designed site with a strong focus on editorial content that’s clear and nicely optimised for small screens.

Images are nicely optimised without drowning the screen, plus contributors are clearly credited with a link to their other content.

Text is large and very legible.

They also have awesome looking product pages.


As I discussed in how the UK’s favourite restaurants are performing on mobile, the Italian chain Ask came out top thanks to a beautifully designed responsive site that carries over the look and feel of the desktop version.

Here geolocation easily reveals my nearest restaurant, and clearly lists them all in distance order with options to click-and-call or book online for each location.

Each branch’s landing page is laid out beautifully with subtle yet obvious call-to-actions for click-to-call, online booking or a Google Map. Everything you need in a single screen.


Happy Socks

For sheer exuberance and visual panache, here’s Happy Socks with its bold flat design…

Brilliant product images.

Massively clear buttons

And strong commitment to customer care.

For more detailed information on mobile design, download our mobile web design and development best practice guide.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 9 July, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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