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The Mobile Award

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We have six candidates for this year’s Innovation Award: Cloggs, Free People, House of Fraser, MandM Direct, Shop Direct and Start London. Please read through their commendations below before submitting your vote at the bottom of the page. Choose your favourite from the list or select up to three in order of preference. is the sister title to Internet Retailing. M-Retailing focuses upon the role of mobile, mobility and tablets within multichannel retail. This Award will go to the retailer whose mobile activities extend beyond an obligatory app and tablet-optimised site to creating an integrated, coherent and compelling experience under their brand – via the mobile, for a customer ‘on the move’, whether at home, on a bus or in-store.”


  • The retailer has a clear mobile retailing strategy – transactional, engaging, integrated (not ‘just’ a marketing app)

  • The mobile offering is distinctive to the brand and supports the brand proposition

  • The mobile offering plays to the strengths of the mobile channel and devices

  • The mobile offering takes into account the customer’s ‘mobility’ and the context in which they may find themselves.


Cloggs [show-irdx rclg]

Clogg’s adoption of mobile is a case of commit, deploy, reap benefits. While there’s no astounding innovation this is a case of a retailer quietly adopting the new channel, implementing well and gaining commercial advantage.

Acquired in 2013 by JD Sports the customer demographic was already mobile-savvy, but the website redesign in 2013 focused upon making the website a better supporter of the mobile experience.

From a base of c50% mobile usage the redesign achieved a 91% improvement in visitor-to-buy conversion and a 337% increase in mobile revenues in Q1 2014.


Free People [show-irdx rfpe]

Free People is a contemporary women’s fashion label, owned by Urban Outfitters.

The brand’s mobile success is the integration of Instagram images, customer-generated images and product information, all enabled via its app.

The app allows scanning of product swingtags in store, and links to the brand’s product information as well as user-contributed imagery of those products. Customers’ photos are also integrated into the product pages online.

FP uses the Olapic ( system to link Instagram, moderation and products (as also used by retailers like Desigual from Spain). The app have been downloaded c300,000 times and is in our view and on-brand, savvy appropriation of Instagram to combine the customer’s voice with brand curation.

House of Fraser [show-irdx rhof]

This is HoF’s third appearance in three Awards – and who would quibble given their mobile-first credentials?

By way of reminder:

– a mobile-first, integrating the business silos behind getting the best customer interface

– redesign of their website to emulate and support ‘tappy’ customers and swiping navigation behaviour

Andy Harding puts the mobile focus thus: “We regard the mobile site as the glue that binds our store and online offer, to attract the truly multi-channel customer.”

A short commendation, but strongly felt, as HoF has created the most integrated, mobile-first set of interfaces of any of their peer group.


MandM Direct [show-irdx rmmd]

A straightforward nomination for a retailer that’s seen their customer demographic using mobile and has redesigned their site to support that preference.

Sales conversion – up. Bounce rate – down. Site speed – improved. Best credit for us was the integrated, responsive design that actually free up time and reduced maintenance. Short and sharp – good commercial result:

Shop Direct [show-irdx rsdg]

Shop Direct has transformed itself from a catalogue seller to an eCommerce mainstay with a responsive mobile site.

As we mentioned in an earlier citation, ShopDirect’s CEO expects that in 2015 every single transaction will involve a mobile at some point, and so mobile-led, mobile-enabled, mobile-focused multichannel is finding its first form at Shop Direct.

A creditable transformation within the last few years from paper-focused credit-proposition retailer to viewing 100% mobile-influence at the Board table.


Start London [show-irdx rstl]

Start London is a small, boutique retailer based in Shoreditch, London, at the vanguard of the Shoreditch style trend – the ‘digerati’ in the ‘ditch’. The influence of the style-setting brand extends far beyond London and so they have developed an interesting “walk through” technology to allow customers to visit the store via their mobiles and browsers.

Each of the departments has google-street-view-like capabilities, allow you to see all of the products, rails and store furnishings.

Smartphone and tablet users can click-to-buy on all of the items, making this transactional rather than simply a fly-through. Visit the men’s ground floor showroom area:

This is the first example we’ve seen of ultra-high-quality visuals and video that is also integrated with stock, basket and checkout into a commercial (not just a marketing) offering.


Next up: The IRIS Award

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