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New Look is the latest UK retailer to get into the mobile commerce market, with the launch of a site last week. 

The site was designed by Mobile Interactive Group, and has been optimised for smartphone users. I've been reviewing the new site... 

IMG_1631

The choice of a mobile website as the first stage of a brand's mobile strategy is now more common, as it makes sense to broaden the offering as much as possible.

Also, instead of attempting to cater for all mobile users with one site, New Look has produced a version that caters for 'high-end' phones with the aim of producing the best possible user experience.

The result is a very good mobile site, with plenty of examples of best practice mobile commerce...

Home page and navigation

The layout is relatively simple, yet matches the look and feel of the desktop version of the site. 

The navigation options are shown on vertical menus which expand without requiring the page to refresh again. This is an excellent method of saving space, and allows New Look to present categories and sub-categories without slowing the page down. 

IMG_1642

The availability of the various product sub-categories also allows users to refine their search, though a few more refinement options may have been useful on product results pages. 

There is a 'refine results' option, but this only allows for sorting by newness, price and category. Other filters, such as colour, size and fit would be useful to make the numbers of results returned more manageable. 

IMG_1644

Product pages

When reviewing mobile commerce sites or apps, I often complain that product pages don't contain enough detail on products, delivery charges and returns policies, but New Look does this very well, without producing a cluttered page. 

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Customers are shown a variety of product images, all of which can be zoomed into, while calls to action are clear:

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Checkout process

The payment process is where many mobile commerce sites have been disappointing. Too often, mobile shoppers are asked to register before they can checkout. 

This is something that many online retailers have begun to avoid (or provide alternatives like guest checkout) on the desktop versions of their sites, but it seems to be common practice on mobile. 

Instead of asking for people to create an account, this New Look site leads customers straight into the checkout process where they can start entering their name and address details.

This removes a potential barrier to purchase for new customers, and they can still save their details for next time. Meanwhile, for existing customers, the payment process is very smooth, and can be achieved with very few clicks between homepage and payment confirmation. It's this ease of purchase that can really make the difference in mobile commerce. 

Apart from a smooth process, another way to make it easy for customers to pay (and to address security concerns) is to offer alternative payment options. 

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As well as the usual credit and debit cards, New Look offers PayPal, which is great not only for capturing more shoppers, but also because it can speed up the checkout process. 

Conclusion

This is a very good mobile commerce site, which does a great job of converting the desktop experience for mobile users. 

Where it really excels is in the payment process, which is very fast for registered users, and doesn't contain the barriers to purchase for new customers that are common on other m-commerce offering. 

Retailers looking to design mobile checkouts should take a look at the New Look mobile site first... 

Graham Charlton

Published 5 April, 2011 by Graham Charlton

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

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (9)

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JamesB

The site looks great in the screenshots above but I think that it's been optimised for an iPhone (nothing necessarily wrong with that). On my low-ish spec Android phone the site doesn't work well at all, almost to the extent that it's impossible to purchase.

over 5 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi James,

Yes, I used an iPhone 4, and the site worked well. What problems were you having? What model of phone did you use?

over 5 years ago

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Joe Pelissier

I just saw notification of this via Brand Republic so you have issued a v. speedy and good review.

Out of interest, how do you do the screen capture on your i-Phone?

Joe

over 5 years ago

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JamesB

Hi Graham,

None of the category links work from the homepage so a pretty major issue! Clicking on the main banner seems to be the only way I can get to a product.

I've got an HTC Legend phone which is probably one of the least common Android phones so can see why it may not have been tested on this device - would be interesting if it's a problem with just my model or all Android phones.

I did manage to make it to the checkout and it worked ok from there, as you say in your review the checkout process works well.

over 5 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Joe, just press the home and sleep buttons at the same time.

James - thanks. That is a problem. I'll ask MIG about it.

over 5 years ago

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Charles Barsley, Digital Analytics & Optimisation Manager at SelfridgesEnterprise

Hi James - It works well on my Android HTC Wildfire - Which is another less common phone with a low quality screen.

The only thing I found was I had to type m. into the url as I wasn't automatically redirected to the mobile site.

over 5 years ago

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RichM

Hi Graham - Nice looking site, quite liked the speedy drop down category menu on the home page, did suspect that it would not be compatible on a range of phones, looks like this has been tested mainly on iPhone/iPad.

The product page and route to purchase needs work - really get frustrated by m-commerce sites that allow you to 'Add to Basket' then make you think to scroll up to the top of the page and find the 'Basket' link - why not have a dynamic CTA that changes and prompts to the checkout as seen on other sites.

The basket and checkout has its problems, asking me for my 'Title' twice is unnecessary and you just feel whilst at 3 pages it is perceivably a short journey, to much information is requested on the first page. Sure that this will cause users to abandon. Better to tempt them in perhaps with just an email address initially.

Rich

over 5 years ago

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Peter Birganza

Hi GRAHAM,
In read the article and observed that the results on display to show the features of this mobile are like i-Phone. Actually that`s not a bad thing as if you have capability than you can target i-Phone and there would not be any issue in it. There are lots of companies that are also working to target i-Phone but because of i-Phone`s performance and features, they are not able to compete with it. If you provide some more details regarding its software programs, it would be much better for you to target buyers more specifically. I hope you will share it with us by describing features, body, properties etc. of your cell phone.

over 5 years ago

Igor Faletski

Igor Faletski, CEO at Mobify

This seems like a good start, but some polishing is required. For instance, menu items disappear randomly on my iPhone 4. It would also be a good idea to make the photo gallery on the index page touch-friendly, so it would be possible to swipe its contents back and forth.

Igor

over 5 years ago

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