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Urban Outfitters’ Terrain takes guesswork out of shopping with mobile makeover

Urban Outfitters’ Terrain home-and-garden brand received a mobile-friendly Web makeover that takes consumers to items faster and more simply, helping to drive a sharp rise in smartphone conversions and mobile revenue.

A key difference in the relaunched Terrain site is an increase in custom page templates co-developed with WebLinc, including new gallery and slideshow formats, and product detail page templates that include scroll-over text. In the future, Terrain plans to introduce features such as in-store pickup as it recognizes the value of making the shopping journey easier for consumers on mobile.

“Now each page template is formatted specifically for the screen size on which the user is viewing it for optimal ease of use,” said Darren Hill, CEO and founder of WebLinc. “They don’t have to zoom in or out, buttons are sized to be touch-friendly, and form fields are large and easy to navigate on all device sizes.

“We also increase the size and prominence of the search box on smaller screen sizes to allow customers to quickly and easily find exactly what they’re looking for,” he said.

“The navigation menu has also been optimized for mobile and tablet devices so that shopping categories are displayed in a ‘hamburger’ menu, which opens from the size of the screen and allows users to easily navigate from category to category.”

Responsive design
WebLinc used responsive design to create a mobile-first Web experience. It conducted quality assurance testing on the new architecture to ensure that the new templates were responsive across smartphones, desktops, and the widescreen.

When the user opens the site, a clean, visually strong look dominated by single strong images greets him.

Instead of having to read text, the user simply clicks on an image to go to a section of interest, showing products and prices. For instance, clicking on the image of teak furniture with the headline “We speak teak” takes the user to a page showing various teak deck loungers, benches, chairs and sofas, with prices shown.

Clicking on a single image takes the user to a page showing the items from different angles and in different colors.

A button lets the user add the item to a shopping basket. Underneath the button are links to Facebook, Pinterest and email and a detailed description of the item.

Here, the user also finds related items he or she may like. A box is provided beneath those images to give the user an opportunity to provide an email address. To nudge the user to oblige, a notice says providing an email address can lead to receiving free shipping on a first order.

This section also includes a help directory related to order status, shipping returns, gift cards and other topics.

The user also can follow a link to a Terrain blog. The entry for May 20, titled “A Beach House Garden,” seeks to educate the user about beachfront blooms. Links to earlier blogs also can be found here.

Other retailers are employing mobile tools to take some of the guesswork out of purchasing products for the yard to make it easier for consumers to shop when, where and how they want as they prepare for the spring and summer gardening season.

For instance, The Home Depot is supporting shoppers’ omnichannel needs with several new interactive tools available across its application and mobile Web site that are designed to simplify finding and buying the right products for the lawn and garden this spring.

The Home Depot has introduced the Mulch and Top Soil Calculator, Grass Seed Calculator as well as the Weed, Plant and Pest Problem Solver. By streamlining the shopping process for smartphone-equipped consumers, the retailer is taking some of the frustration out of shopping from a small screen, whether a purchase is completed in–store, online or inside the application.

Relieving pressure
Interactive shopping tools can help retailers provide additional utility to current and potential customers and in turn strengthen a retailer’s point of differentiation. They can also relieve the pressure of always having to compete on price while bridging the gap between products and physical services that retailers offer.

“Mobile customer engagement is a huge opportunity for businesses to improve customer acquisition and loyalty through mobile apps, mobile Web and mobile marketing,” said Sheryl Kingstone, Toronto-based research director with 451 Research.

451 Research’s Mobile and Connected Devices Forecast and Monitor 2015, shows the staggering pace at which mobility is growing. There are already more than 225 million smartphones in use in the United States, and that number is expected to grow to 272 million by 2018.

New strategies across the customer journey can increase engagements and help customers learn about products, make purchases, request service or earn rewards.

“Ease of use is critical for Ecommerce sites on all screen sizes,” Mr. Hill said. “And as mobile and tablet use continue to rise, it’s imperative for online retailers to optimize the user experience for those devices, too.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York