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Crabtree & Evelyn taps responsive design to deliver seamless mobile shopping experience

The retailer of bath, body and home fragrance products recently relaunched its ecommerce site to address the growing number of smartphone-carrying shoppers. The new site provides product information, rich imagery and customer reviews.

“Responsive web design enables retailers like Crabtree & Evelyn to dynamically format content presentation for distinct devices,” said Rob Garf, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Demandware, Burlington, MA. “This allows retailers to provide a highly branded consumer experience, increase operational efficiency, and develop faster across the mobile landscape.

“The benefits include the operational efficiencies generated, which result in lower costs,” he said. “In our rapidly and constantly changing face of retail, time and effort is a premium.

“With responsive Web design, the retailer makes a single change to a product category, design element or user navigation and that change is reflected across each device.  In contrast, a mobile-optimized site would require independent changes be made to the site.”

Increasing customer engagement
Crabtree & Evelyn teamed up with Demandware to leverage its commerce platform to create customized, personalized brand experiences across channels and geographies using responsive Web design. The retailer will also use Demandware Commerce to support its global expansion strategy.

The development and system integration of the new site was accomplished with help from SapientNitro as well.

A growing number of merchants and marketers are tapping responsive design to craft Web site experiences that are easy to read and navigate across desktop, laptop, smartphones and tablets without the need for a lot of resizing, panning and scrolling.

As mobile adoption and commerce grows, responsive Web design can help merchants increase customer engagement via the smaller screens found on smartphones.

When users visit the Crabtree & Evelyn responsive design site from a smartphone, they see an image for a recent product range and have the option to sign in, find a store or search for the items they are interested.

Below these options are a series of navigation buttons that users can tap to view products from the product ranges for categories such as hand care, fragrance, bath and body, at home, for him, collections and gifts.

Clicking on any of these brings up more navigation buttons so users can fine-tune their search. For example, under hand care there is the option to tap on hand creams, hand washes, scrubs, accessories, antibacterial hand gels, 60-Second Fix for Hands and nail care.

Each product collection is displayed with rich imagery and includes a story about its origin. The site also features ratings, reviews and social media integration.

At the bottom of the screen, users also have the option to click to view the full Crabtree & Evelyn site.

The site is available at

60 countries and is available at other retail locations.

“One of our customers recently referred to responsive web design as future proofing the mobile site,” Mr. Garf said. “Today, there are tablets and the iPhone 5, but what is next? 

“With responsive web design, the retailer develops a site that is flexible and can be adapted to the next technological innovation,” he said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York