Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Zappos brandishes simplicity via in-app customized widgets for Android

Zappos is making the shopping process even more streamlined for its Android customers by updating its mobile application to include a series of personalized widgets, proving that offering in-app recommendations based on previous purchasing behavior is a valuable strategy for mobile and online retailers.

Zappos, which carries inventory from brands such as The North Face, Nike and Clarks, rolled out the redesign to better serve on-the-go consumers who prefer a simplified design that enables easier browsing, and ultimately, more streamlined checkout. App users will also receive free one-business-day shipping when available.

“Our customers are our inspiration, and we take their feedback to heart and apply it to our apps,” said Andrew Nguyen, mobile product manager at Zappos, Las Vegas, NV. “We have done countless user interviews, observed their habits and rummaged through data to understand what customers do in the apps.

“These interactions allow us to bring customers relevant products and information simply and quickly to these home screen widgets. Personalization is a big way of making things even more simple and easy, and we are working to take the work out of mobile shopping for our customers.”

Personalized experience
Zappos placed high importance on the personalization aspect of the redesign, creating widgets that offer product suggestions based on previous purchases.

Widget categories include favorited items, recently viewed products and recommended items based on buying patterns and app usage. If the user likes the suggested items, he or she can click the “more” button to see additional recommendations.

“We are proud parents of all our widgets, including the ones we continue to improve and ones that are still in the works,” Mr. Nguyen said. “The most exciting widget to us is the one that brings the most use to our individual customers.

“As a customer myself, I’m most excited about the dynamic categories. I’m a proud parent of a 4-month-old son and find myself in the baby shop quite often,” he said.

“It’s even easier to find the products I care about since the app provides easy, one-tap access to the baby shop and other categories I consistently shop in.”

Mobile retailers seeking to ramp up sales must leverage some form of in-app recommendations to prevent overwhelming time-strapped customers with too many options and decisions to make.

Consumers are increasingly looking to recommendations and assistance options within mobile applications during the shopping process, suggesting that merchants should not overlook the initial buying experience in their efforts to streamline the checkout process, according to a report from Contact Solutions (see story).

User-friendly features
The Android app update also offers a cleaner, more intuitive user experience. Consumers can scroll through large photographs of items in a simplified design, a tactic which will likely help provide a more enjoyable shopping experience.

A Forrester Research analyst at the company’s Forum for Marketing Leaders said that by identifying and influencing key decisions customers make regularly, brands can use digital and mobile marketing to reduce decision-making stress rather than coerce transactions (see story).

Zappos rethinking its Android app displays the brand’s acknowledgment of this mindset. Rather than overwhelm guests with options, it is using mobile to tailor items to consumers’ desires, and effectively mimic the in-store shopping experience.

“Naturally, mobile consumers expect personal and unique experiences from their devices,” Mr. Nguyen said. “At Zappos, we are laser-focused on creating personal and emotional connections with our customers as mobile usage rapidly increases.

“Mobile is in a prime position to deliver targeted experiences at a segment and individual level. The amount and type of information that mobile provides allows fantastic opportunities to uniquely serve each customer.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York