10 Best Practices in Mobile Optimization for Fashion and Apparel

Mobile has had a major impact on the fashion industry.

Shoppers are now spending more time interacting with fashion brands on mobile devices than on desktop, forcing big name brands to adapt their approach – many taking a mobile-first approach.

We examined 10 fashion brands that are excelling in mobile and identified best practices that you can implement for your brand. Not in the fashion industry? These 10 best practices may still be applicable to you.

Time to get inspired:

Best Practice #1: The Header

The North Face
The header is often the first place your customer’s eyes land, so don’t overwhelm them with too many options up front. The North Face uses standard iconography to reduce clutter in the header and only includes the necessary information – navigation, location finder, cart and search. By collapsing the remaining information under the navigation icon, the brand accommodates the smaller screen size while still providing all the necessary actions for a great mobile shopping experience.

North Face - Best Practices in Mobile          North Face - Best Practices in Mobile

Best Practice #2: The Home Page

Eddie Bauer
The homepage is the starting point for most online users and poor usability will cause users to bounce. Eddie Bauer provides a great customer experience from the get-go by optimizing the content on the homepage for mobile. The skinny banner across the top displays a snippet of interesting information and invites the user to dig in by tapping the banner to display more details. This makes good use of the limited screen real estate and avoids pushing important content further down the page.

Eddie Bauer - Best Practices in Mobile          Eddie Bauer - Best Practices in Mobile
Best Practice #3: The Promotional Banner

When a customer is motivated to buy from a promotional banner – you want to keep them hot on the path to purchase. Spring provides an easy-to-follow shopping experience by ensuring that their promo banners lead to the logical next step, i.e: when a shopper clicks on the 30% off promo banner, they are taken to a product page where they can filter through all the 30% off footwear.

Spring - Best Practices in Mobile          Spring - Best Practices in Mobile

Best Practice #4: The Navigation

Discovery plays a massive role in the shopping experience. People don’t shop in-store with blinders on – don’t force them to online. Matalan allows their customers to easily navigate between different categories and products via their seamless product filtering. The off-canvas/sidebar navigation is used to support their curious shoppers, as it maintains context for them while still giving them access to more refined options.

Matalan - Best Practices in Mobile          Matalan - Best Practices in Mobile
Best Practice #5: The Filter

Filtering is a central aspect of online product browsing, it enables shoppers to narrow down the selection to just those products that meet their needs. Express allows shoppers to easily filter and sort through a huge inventory of products to find exactly what they are looking for. Shoppers can refine the product pages based on a multitude of criteria without reloading the page each time. This best practice ensures a fast and seamless search process as reloading the page would slow down the process significantly.

Express - Best Practices in Mobile          Express - Best Practices in Mobile
Best Practice #6: The Button

Some may think that smaller buttons would make sense for smaller screens due to the limited real estate. However, Fab kept in mind that a thumb is much less precise than a mouse and replaced their hover-over navigation with larger buttons to support mobile-ready thumbs. This makes it easy for mobile shoppers to navigate through their website and choose the items they actually meant to.

Fab - Best Practices in Mobile          Fab - Best Practices in Mobile
Best Practice #7: The Photograph

The visual component of online shopping is very important as shoppers can’t touch or smell products online. Hautelook clearly understands the role that visuals play in converting a mobile shopper and ensures that the visual experience on smartphones isn’t negatively impacted by the limited screen real estate. Customers viewing the brand’s website on a mobile device will see mobile-specific images, which provide close-ups of the subjects and separate text to ensure legibility.

HauteLook - Best Practices in Mobile          HauteLook - Best Practices in Mobile
Best Practice #8: The Products

Product display pages (PDPs) are your opportunity to turn visitors into customers. MEC does just this by prominently displaying the three most important details across the top of the PDPs – product name, price and rating. The rating is the item that is often forgotten, but this detail can push shoppers to purchase by providing reassurance that others are happy with the product. MEC also ensures that the “Add to Bag” button is visible within one swipe to make it easy for users to convert.

MEC- Best Practices in Mobile          MEC- Best Practices in Mobile
Best Practice #9: The Shopping Cart

Orchards Brands
Imagine a world where the Gap Inc brands (including: Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic) could all be purchased from the same shopping cart online. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s what Orchard Brands did with not only three – but thirteen of their distinct brands in the apparel and home goods verticals. Customers are able to browse and buy from multiple Orchard Brand properties using a single shopping cart, creating a seamless mobile shopping experience.

Orchard Brands - Best Practices in Mobile          Orchard Brands - Best Practices in Mobile
Best Practice #10: The Checkout

Tiffany & Co.
The average shopping cart abandonment rate on mobile is 97%! With such an astounding number of customers abandoning carts on mobile, you can’t give your customer any reason to leave. Tiffany & Co. provides a shopper-friendly experience throughout the checkout process to prevent this. The website outlines each step of the checkout so the shopper knows what to expect and gives them an option to sign-in. Having shoppers sign-in will give you the clearest view of their journey across devices and allows you to provide a customized experience.

[Important] Not all shoppers will want to sign-in, so it’s extremely important to provide the “Checkout as a Guest” option as well.

Tiffany - Best Practices in Mobile          Tiffany - Best Practices in Mobile
Become a Leader in Mobile

Now that you’ve drawn inspiration from some of the best in the industry, start designing the ultimate mobile shopping experience for your customers. Download the Design Guide below to get started!

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