To finish up our Design for Mobile Commerce series, I asked four of my colleagues to participate in a brief survey of mobile retail sites. Our goal with this survey was to investigate actual user experience and functionality on mobile devices. Not what the top 10 or 20 retailers are doing, but what happens when someone has a need and tries to meet that need on their mobile device.
To that end, I gave each of us a task to accomplish on a specific site and a short list of questions about the process. We’ll publish one survey every day this week.
When I started this series, I thought responsive design was the way to go, hands down. After conducting multiple interviews and reading through the results of this survey, I’m less enthusiastic. Read on to see why.
What is your task today?
To attempt finding a specific product on Target.com (the Bose SoundDock II Digital Music System) and to see whether or not the specific store I shop at has this item in stock.
Did you accomplish it? How easy was it?
Yes. I’d say it was extremely easy. Once I got the product page, there was a link/button that said “Find in Store – Check your local store for availability and aisle number.” It was quick to enter my zip code and search the closest stores. Each store near my zip code clearly listed either “in-stock,” “limited availability,” or “out of stock.”
Did you do anything else on the website?
I looked at the images and content on the product-detail page and compared content to the desktop site. Everything was similar on both sites, just laid out differently to make it easier for consumption on a mobile device.
Do you think this site is responsive, mobile-specific, or something else? Why?
Responsive. When comparing to the desktop site, the content I get is the same, just fit specifically for viewing on my phone. (Editor’s note: this is a mobile-specific site.) There is no side-to-side scrolling or need to zoom in or out, everything fits perfectly to the screen for smooth top-to-bottom scrolling. Overall it was a very seamless experience to search for my product, find it in the results, and then get to locating whether it was in stock. Minimal steps and effort.
If you had reason to, would you use this website again, or go to a competitor?
Yes, I found navigation easy to use and had no reason to be disappointed with my experience. Everything was where you’d expect it to be and my experience was extremely straightforward.
What device did you use?
Conclusion: No big secret, but Target is leading the pack when it comes to mobile integration.