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Urban Decay’s mobile conversion jumps 150pc with Pinterest-like experience

Cosmetics brand and online retailer Urban Decay is an early adopter of a new visual shopping experience for the mobile Web, enabling users to click, tap and swipe their way to a more relevant product selection, with initial results driving a 150 percent higher conversion rate.

Urban Decay has found that shoppers who interact with the new Edgecase Visual Shopping for Mobile experience are more likely to engage, participate and buy from the brand. The experience eschews menus and search boxes, instead immersing users in visuals of relevant products with the ability to save, share or continue to browse at every point.

“Millennial consumers are on their mobile devices  – and highly engaged on sites like Instagram and Pinterest,” said Lisa Roberts, vice president of marketing at Edgecase. “The challenge is how optimize these two things together to engage and convert people in a way they’re used to shopping.

“With Visual Shopping, retailers are able to deliver visually-driven mobile experiences that are as personal and memorable as the best consumer apps – all within the mobile browser,” she said.

“In the case of Urban Decay, approximately 60 percent of their traffic is generated by mobile shoppers. The mobile experience is their primary ‘door to their brand.’  Edgecase helps them take advantage of this moment to inspire a shopper to either purchase immediately, or to make sure it’s an Urban Decay product top of mind when they’re ready to purchase on web, mobile or store.”

Visual product discovery
Initial results from Urban Decay’s deployment of the visual shopping experience on mobile show that shoppers who interact with it view five times more products per session, with nearly 10 percent sharing products with others and a 150 percent higher conversion rate.

Shoppers in certain categories such as cosmetics – where the visual experience is very important – are spending increasing amounts of time on social sites such as Pinterest, Instagram, Tinder and YouTube, for product inspiration.

The popularity of these social sites points to how mobile shoppers often prefer to discover new products by seeing what others with similar tastes are sharing as opposed to engaging with retailer’s Web sites, which often have a cookie-cutter look that provides a more linear product navigation and discovery process.

To address this shortcoming in retailer’s mobile Web sites, digital shopping platform Edgecase recently launched Visual Shopping for Mobile, which enables users to click, tap and swipe products of interest. Doing so brings forward a more relevant selection of products, thereby driving mobile engagement.

The goal is to enable retailers to provide mobile shoppers with a highly visual and intuitive product discovery experience that feels more like an app than a Web site.

Relevant products
Mobile commerce continues to grow, posting an 87 percent year-over-year increase, according to However, conversion rates are well below other channels, in part because the mobile shopping experience is lacking.

While many retailers have adopted responsive Web design in order to efficiently deliver sites across devices, Edgecase suggests that this has resulted in rigid navigation structures, grid layouts and product dead-ends with few options other than to purchase or bounce.

With Visual Shopping, retailers can assemble and display a visual collage of relevant products whenever a shopper lands on a category or product page.

Products are related through Edgcase’s platform using shopper-friendly attributes such as “vegan”, “neutral” or “soft.”

“The Visual Shopping experience feels more natural to the mobile shopper who frequents Pinterst, Instagram and Tumlr,” Ms. Roberts said. “They’re allowed to simply ‘shop with their eyes’ rather than typing or searching, being forced to navigate desktop-style hierarchical menus or bounce back and forth between the product listing and product pages.

“Behind the scenes, products are related through Edgcase’s platform using shopper-friendly attributes – not manufacturers’ product copy – so the assortment is more relevant to the way people actually shop. Put simply, it’s more fun — and more rewarding.”

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