Majestic Wine has launched a new mobile site to allow its customers to browse and buy wines on the go.

It has been developed by Usablenet, which also designed mobile sites for House of Fraser, Tesco and M&S.

A wine merchant isn’t necessarily the type of business you would expect to have a mobile site, and it doesn’t seem to be a common feature among its competitors.

So how does it measure up in terms of usability?

Homepage

Mobile sites need to be simple to navigate, and Majestic has initially done a good job of stripping out unnecessary options. The search function is prominently positioned at the top of the page, as is a store locator which offers both geo-location or postcode search.

These are both useful options for mobile users and it makes sense to make them easy to find.

                      

Furthermore, while there are quite a few product categories, it doesn’t feel too cluttered, and the options match the desktop site so regular customers will be familiar with the navigation.

Navigation

Each category on the homepage has a dropdown menu that reveals further product options. The process is very smooth, although in some categories it does feel as if you are given too many choices.

Mobile sites need to be simple and Majestic could probably have stripped a few options out.

That said, it still feels quite slick and is relatively easy to find the products you are looking for.

Product pages

The product pages are well laid out with a large product image prominently displayed. It also includes pricing information, access to customer reviews and ratings, and social media buttons in case you are inclined to share your purchase with friends.

There is also comprehensive information about the wine, such as its origin, taste, body and even whether it is cork or screw top.

                      

The one minor issue is that you need to navigate away from the page to access delivery information, which could have been provided in a dropdown menu on the product page.

Checkout

This is where the site loses points, as you are forced to register before you can order your goods.

Typing in all your personal details is a fiddly process on a mobile and is likely to put some customers off completing a purchase. It is fine to offer the option of creating an account, but it shouldn’t be compulsory on mobile sites.

Another issue is with the delivery method. If you choose home delivery then it tells you it will deliver it from your local store, which in my case is Clapham.

However if you then select ‘Collect in store’ it doesn’t automatically assume I would want to pick it up from Clapham, and instead you have to scroll down a massive list of stores.

This is only a minor point, but seems a fairly obvious way of making the process easier. 

                      

Conclusion

Majestic Wines has produced a decent mobile site that is easy to navigate, although there are a few points that let it down.

There are a few too many options in the drop-down menus on the homepage, but it could be that these will be reduced after Majestic has evaluated user data. Furthermore, the checkout process is too long and may harm the conversion rate.

But that said, it still provides a useful tool for Majestic’s customers and keeps them one step ahead of the competition.