In our Intelligence Report: Tablets, released last week, it was revealed that of the 60 brands we assessed, less than 10 percent have tablet-optimized sites and just two, H&M and White House | Black Market, have native tablet sites. Where brands fare better on the tablet front–though just marginally–is with apps. Perhaps motivated by the fact that almost half of tablet shoppers claim they would prefer to make a purchase with an app than through a smartphone browser, retail brands have shown stronger interest in developing apps for the tablet platform. Unfortunately, the majority of brands with tablet-compatible apps (60 percent) still take the route of replicating identical experiences across mobile and table—perpetuating a “one-device-fits-all” misnomer. One of the standout tablet apps that does not take that approach and that made our ‘Flash of Genius’ section is menswear e-tailer MR PORTER. Below, a profile.
Parent company NET-A-PORTER is a seasoned and prolific app developer, currently maintaining seven distinct offerings. For MR PORTER, the app’s design is smartly tailored to each platform’s strengths: for the on-the-go iPhone, a minimalist and functional product viewer, and for the iPad, a rich, thematic magazine. Released last November, MR PORTER’s tablet app, “The Tux,” is designed to engage users for an extended period of time; its blend of interactive rich media and original content (it boasts a 1.5 gigabyte footprint) is clearly meant to tap into the tablet user’s tendency to lounge, swipe, browse, multitask and buy, sometimes, for up to hours.
The app starts off fashionably masculine with a James Bond-style chase down the French Riviera ending with a fun, stylish choice: The Tux Revival, Shaken Not Stirred, What A Swell Party, and The Way We Wore It. What’s so brilliant about “The Tux” is that it treats visitors to a multi-sensory experience that feels like everything but typical shopping. Instead of focusing on the merchandise, MR PORTER places primacy on the lifestyle evoked by the brands and the products, making the transaction just another enjoyable part of the experience.