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Naked Wines this week launched an iPhone app for use by registered customers on the site (Angels in NW parlance).
The app allows users to review wines, connect with other customers, and place orders.
Since it's a good excuse to order some more wine, I've been having a closer look at the app...
There is an ongoing debate about whether mobile sites or apps are the best strategy, but I think we are moving towards a point where mobile websites will win the argument.
Put simply, mobile websites are getting better, and the advantages of targeting different devices, and most importantly, mobile searchers with a mobile site outweigh the user experience benefits of an app.
However, this doesn't mean that apps have no uses. For one, they can still be a great retention tool, providing welcome utilities for customers. For example, 18% of Ocado's sales came via mobile last year, and this is based upon an app strategy. It has no mobile site.
So, the Naked Wines app fits in very well here, and provides a useful resource for customers.
For one, it summarises my last order, enabling to rate the wines I bought, and buy the ones I liked again:
There is plenty of information about the wines (and the winemaker), something Naked Wines seems to do better than many other online wine retailers.
For example, I can view a video review of the wine, see user ratings and comments, as well as learning more about its provenance.
The app is easy to use and navigate - this handy right hand bar (accessed by pressing the menu icon) enables you to easily skip back and forth around the app.
I can also place an order on my phone. It's a good tactic, as customers enjoying a glass of wine in the evening are more likely to reach for their mobiles, and can place an order while it's uppermost in their minds.
What I also found impressive is that, even if you don't complete the order via the app, then the basket contents are there waiting for you when you visit the desktop site.