Interview with Daniel Reyes, the Head of Technology at brandsExclusive - 47% mobile users showing highest conversion rates through mobile apps
1. What are the elements of the mobile strategy of brandsExclusive?
The first stage is to provide the best mobile interface to our service on the devices they use today. The focus has been on iOS apps first as our audience is heavily skewed to iOS devices over other. We have also provided a html5 mobile website for other devices. This includes providing feature parity on our apps with our website so that customers need to never visit our website if they desire.
The second stage of our strategy is to go above and beyond to provide interfaces and features that are not possible in a desktop browser environment, taking advantage of the unique benefits mobile devices provide.
It's our belief that mobile devices are the future for e-commerce, we estimated last year that by the end of 2013 most of our visits would be on mobile devices.
2. Please share a few metrics about your mobile offerings with us e.g. how many mobile users do you have? How many app downloads?
In the last 30 days, 47% of visits have been using mobile devices, approximately 30% being on our dedicated iOS apps for iPhone and iPad. In terms of downloads we are in the top 10 in the lifestyle category on the app store, over 1200 app reviews with average score of 4.5/5.
One interesting aspect is that sales conversions are the highest on our apps, with far and away the most time spent. Customers are highly engaged and also making purchases. The notion that customers still prefer to checkout on desktop browsers and only browse on mobile is not true with us.
3. What is your advice for other online retailers that are considering to build an app or a mobile site?
The answer to app first or mobile website first is not the same for everyone. We have found that building native iOS apps are in fact easier than mobile websites where cross-browser issues are a burden. Not only are they easier if you have iOS resources available but provide a far better user experience.
For us going app first was an easier choice as our audience was heavily skewed to iOS 2 years ago and even now.
So from our point of view, should definitely do both if you are in the eCommerce space. Perhaps mobile website first if starting today, but a dedicated iPhone/iPad app following closely.
4. What are the mobile trends you see in the next few years?
Quite simply, majority audience being on smartphones, feature phones to quickly disappear for most, and using those devices to connect with more people and services than ever before.
Devices to provide more contextual experiences fuelled by being an extension of our senses, those senses to continue to expand, the experiences to get better. Wearable computing to become more mainstream.
5. What are some of the coolest apps you have on your iPhone?
Bjorn Behrendt is a serial entrepreneur with an extensive knowledge about online retail, payments and mobile commerce.