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Kit and Ace’s new site drives mobile discovery by merging content, commerce

Apparel retailer Kit and Ace used the idea of sliding doors to merge content and commerce on its ecommerce revamped platform, hoping to better meet the needs of mobile users by making each side easily accessible at any point during a visit.

The new site enables users to scroll through content and add items to their cart without having to leave the content. To create a more personalized experience, the site mimics a social feed so that the retailer can push products that align with the content with which consumers are engaging.

“We know that when it comes to behavior, especially in the digital space, people are easily distracted,” said Ryan Opina, vice president of user experience at Engine Digital. “People multitask so much that they can accomplish 31 hours worth of activity in a 24-hour day.

“With this in mind, and in order to meet the needs of Kit and Ace mobile users, we used the metaphor of sliding doors as a means to integrate content and purchase,” he said. “Both sides always present but easily accessible, it is just a matter of which side you want to step into at that particular moment in time.”

Shoppable stories
Kit and Ace worked with agency Engine Digital to develop the new site. The goal was to bring the same level of personal engagement shoppers find in the chain’s stores into the digital environment through content and weave this together with transactional shopping in a cohesive way.

For example, on the site in the search results, users see specific products and links to the brand’s online magazine, The Brief.

On the homepage, there are highlighted products and shoppable stories.

Engine Digital designed the experience so that people have the ability to shop on various content throughout the site and add items to their cart without ever leaving the content itself. The social feed design enables users to endlessly scroll through content and products.

Driving discovery
A number of retailers are working on merging content and commerce to streamline the experience of browsing and transacting on smartphones’ small screens as sales and time spent on mobile continue to grow.

New York & Company experienced a 44 percent increase in mobile conversions over the past year after implementing a self-service content marketing platform into its mobile site (see story).

Bag Borrow or Steal combined content and commerce in a new app-like mobile Web experience that integrates its blog, Twitter and Instagram feeds with direct links to featured items that can be purchased (see story).

“By looking at content as scannable, discrete pieces of information that move between content and commerce, our goal was to give our customers just enough of what they were looking for,” Mr. Opina said. “This enables continued exploration or digging in to something specific, whether that was hearing about how someone was experiencing Kit and Ace product or the technical details of the shirt they were eyeing.”