House of Fraser: setting standards
House of Fraser is already an Elite retailer in the InternetRetailing UK Top500 yet it offers even more standard-setting performance in Europe.
In our research, page load time was 18% quicker than the average of 4s achieved by IREU Top500 retailers and page score was higher by 12%.
The retailer’s iOS app scored top marks for functionality, as it offers a range of useful features that are all too rare among other EU retailers. These include a bar code scanner, a loyalty card scanner that seamlessly adds it to the app, and a store finder. This last feature neatly allows the choice of list by location and by map, which is handy if you are not in your home town and need to find the store.
But it is in ‘searchandising’ and personalisation where House of Fraser comes into its own. An neat augmented reality function allows users to scan pages from the House of Fraser magazine to find out more about the products. On a more practical level, the retailer has pulled together technologies in its app that are, on their own, standard issue, but taken together can offer something really special. For instance, the app can be used to tell you whether any selected product is available in your favourite store (not just the closest one) and in your size, both of these details being adjustable in the settings. This useful feature lets the shopper tailor what they are trying to do and it helps involve designated stores, which neatly ties together the online and offline worlds.
The app has a link to the HoF YouTube account that provides users with more content, and allows them to see the clothes they are looking at ‘in action’ to give a much better idea of fit and texture. HoF allows customers to order via an iOS app, pick up their orders from the store and return their unwanted goods to stores within 28 days. HoF also promises delivery across all 32 EEA countries within eight days, next-day in-store collection and returns to any store.
The app itself is reasonably attractive in design but functionality has certainly won out over form – not that this is a bad thing. The app offers such a great overall experience that design issues are not a problem. It is also much better looking than that it used to be, so House of Fraser is clearly making progress in that department as well as in the marvellous use of technology that it continues to demonstrate so proficiently.