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Spree develops app-first mobile shopping experience

Understanding that the future of online shopping lies in mobile devices, and seeing a constant increase in the contribution of mobile traffic to total traffic, Spree recently implemented a mobile app-first approach to improve the overall mobile user experience thereby driving engagement and shopping on mobile devices, ultimately increasing the mobile conversion rate.
Spree develops app-first mobile shopping experience

From a mobile web perspective, new category pages were launched with an improved user interface and filtering, while a new product page design positioned the product as the hero. The online fashion retailer also implemented product zoom for the mobile product pages, offering customers access to larger visuals. This has been internationally identified as one of the major stumbling blocks to mobile online shopping – research recently undertaken in the USA found that 61% of shoppers preferred to use PC’s to research products, citing screen size and clarity of product images as reasons not to shop on their mobile devices.

The development team also incorporated Google’s SPDY protocol into their processes, which is an open-specification networking protocol that was developed primarily at Google for transporting web content. SPDY (pronounced ‘speedy’) uses web traffic, with a particular focus on increasing the speed of loading web pages and improving web security.

To give Smartphone users the most optimal experience possible, Spree also launched both Android and iOS native apps and introduced numerous mobile usability improvements, creating an environment that offered a great experience from start to finish.

“We were hoping for an improvement of at least 50% in overall conversion rate for our mobile website – what we have achieved is a more than 100%. On the native app front, I’m delighted to be able to say that the conversion rates we’re currently seeing already exceed that of mobile web, proof that native applications really do deliver the optimal mobile shopping experience,” says Sven Schoof, head of customer experience at Spree.

Spree’s mobile-first approach has resulted in a 484% increase in mobile orders for the online retailer. “ROI is everything for an e-commerce business. Every change and tactic deployed is focused on a key performance area, and the improvement is closely measured,” according to Schoof.

He adds that “Spree has seen a 135% increase in mobile users and a 288% increase in mobile page views. Additionally, there has been a 32% decrease in page load time for mobile users.”

Spree worked closely with Google throughout the project and the process and results have recently been covered in a Google case study.

“For any business in South Africa, having a mobile-first approach to engaging consumers is crucial to driving future business in today’s mobile-first economy. Spree naturally embraced a mobile-first approach, even taking it to a mobile app-first level and the results really speak for themselves,” said Linah Maigurira, industry manager of Retail: Google South Africa.

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