Shoe retailer Schuh has just released an iPhone app which allows customers to shop from their mobiles, as well as finding their local store.
At first glance, the app looks promising, so how does it perform, and can users easily make a purchase from the app?
Homepage and navigation
Schuh has opted for a simple approach on the homepage (above), and throughout the app. Just a logo and four navigation options.
Click on shop and you’ll get this menu:
You can shop from Schuh’s entire product range through the app, which of course means that there should be filtering options to allow users to narrow the search.
The refine options are comprehensive enough to narrow the scope of the product search, and the number of matching products are shown next to each filter, making it easy to avoid returning no results at all.
One thing Schuh does very well online is product images, and the retailer has managed to translate this well to its mobile app. Users can see multiple images, showing shoes from various angles.
There are also some more product details available, while the addition of product reviews is always welcome. However, the product pages are lacking details on delivery, meaning that shoppers have to enter the checkout process to find this information.
The success of a mobile commerce site or app can have a lot to do with the smoothness of the payment process.
Users are often in areas where 3G connection can be slow or coverage is inconsistent, so minimising the number of steps in the checkout process is important.
Schuh makes it compulsory to login or register before entering the checkout. While this is fine if you have an account already, it means much more work than is necessary for new customers.
They have a further two pages to go through to complete their registration before they can enter address and payment details. A guest checkout option would remove this potential barrier to purchase.
The store finder tool is good, and returned results very quickly for me, even on a 3G connection. I have a slight issue with the results screen (shown below) as it doesn’t make it clear the step that users need to take to pull up further information about the store.
This can be done by clicking the store logo, but perhaps this should be made more obvious.
One feature I liked was the ability to check stock at the local Schuh outlet via the store finder tool. This makes it a more useful for offline shopping, though it would be useful to link to this tool direct from product or search results pages.
It isn’t possible to reserve stock through the app, but Schuh does provide a telephone contact option for doing this.
In general, the app is well designed, and the overall simplicity of the app makes it easy to use.
However, I would like to see Schuh, as well as other retailers with mobile sites and apps, consider removing the barrier of registration before customers enter the checkout process.