A field guide to eCommerce – Part 5

28 Mar A field guide to eCommerce – Part 5

Mobile Commerce

What we can learn from the big boys

John Lewis announced some pretty impressive figures at the start of this year. They also saw more than 75% of their traffic coming from mobile devices on Boxing Day 2013.

It won’t surprise you to learn that John Lewis has come out on top of the polls for UK online retailers with a score of 75%. This report, however, also highlights that many retailers are struggling to provide the mobile shopping experience that consumers expect. This is reflected by an average score of 47% down from 53% in 2013.

This fall in score can be partly attributed to changes to criteria in the study. David Bowen, Commerce Product Manager at EPiServer explains.

So what is John Lewis getting so right?

And more importantly, what can you learn from them to improve your own mobile offering?


For a mobile commerce site, the homepage can be make or break for a conversion. Navigation needs to be clear and intuitive for mobile users. It is also worth bearing in mind that the most requested feature from users was not fancy responsive designs but an easy and accessible way to contact customer services. John Lewis has integrated email forms for customer support that are instantly accessible from a footer link at all times.

Amazon have gone one step further and are really leading the field in customer service. It’s own brand tablets now include the “Mayday” feature that connects users to a customer service agent at the tap of a button.

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Product categories are also handled well by John Lewis. The images are large enough to be relevant on mobile screens and we are generally shown 3 products at once as we scroll.

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John Lewis also adds some real value to mobile customers with little cues to fuctionality like the “Double tap to zoom” overlay in product pages.

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Cart management is also handled very nicely. As soon as an item is added, a big friendly checkout button appears. This is a great conversion strategy, leading the customer positively to completion of the transaction.

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If we decide to do a little more shopping before checking out, we come back to a very well organised cart with simple buttons to edit quantities or remove items before completing our order.

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What about the runners up?

Lets not forget that Argos, Amazon, Debenhams and Tesco all scored very highly as well in these polls.

Multichannel retail: Mixing bricks and clicks

Argos do a great job of leveraging your geo-location into its mobile shopping experience. You are never more than a link away from your nearest store’s location and opening times. This data is also applied to your cart to tell you if stock is available locally.

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Don’t compromise content for mobile users

This has to be the number one rule for mobile commerce design. Your mobile site should never feel like a feature reduced version of the desktop site. Any content that is available to desktop should be accessible to mobile users as well. Debenhams do a tremendous job of providing a striking, image led, shopping experience that feels as full as their desktop experience.

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I think it is safe to say that mobile eCommerce is coming out of its nascent stage and is soon to become the dominant channel for retail sales. If your current online offering doesn’t have a mobile strategy it is definitely time to act to remain relevant in todays retail landscape. A good mobile experience is no longer the “value added” that it once was, it is no a baseline expectation. And the quality and standard of that baseline has risen dramatically in the last 12 months.

David Bowen, Commerce Product Manager at EPiServer, added:

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