In 2015, more searches occurred on mobile devices than desktop for the first time, and mobile began to account for the largest share of digital ad spending in the U.S. L2’s Insight Report: Best of Mobile pinpoints seven brands that were pioneers in mobile this year, from Fashion and Beauty to Specialty Retail and Big Box:
Fashion: Cole Haan
Why: While 84% of Fashion brands employ m-commerce, virtually zero have moved to simplify mobile checkout. Cole Haan joins that slim percentage with a simple, elegant app. With the Cole Haan Shopping app, consumers can complete transactions in just two clicks. Fingerprint recognition secures login and confirms checkout, and users can even “Shop the Look” from Cole Haan’s Instagram feed.
Why: Most Beauty-related keyword searches in the past year took place on mobile. However, it can be difficult to navigate through scores of products on a small screen. Origins solves that problem through guided selling. The brand’s latest site relaunch boasts a “For You” tab generating personalized product recommendations that are linked to commerce-enabled product pages. The new look is not only convenient for consumers, but also makes financial sense: mobile now accounts for over a third of parent company Estée Lauder’s e-commerce business.
Specialty Retail: American Eagle Outfitters
Why: Apparel brands face a particular disadvantage in e-commerce: convincing customers to order clothes online without trying them on beforehand. American Eagle Outfitters’ new “Try & Buy” program tackles this hurdle, letting customers reserve up to five items via the AEO | Aerie app and try them on in-store within a day. This also gives the brand the chance to provide more targeted, personalized offers.
Big Box: Target
Why: For most digital shoppers, the in-store experience remains the most important factor in making a purchase. Target’s app aims to improve that experience: search for an item, and the app not only tells you whether it is in the store, but also provides the aisle location and reviews. In addition, app users can find deals while shopping and add multiple coupons to a single barcode scan at checkout. The retailer is also launching its own mobile wallet and experimenting with beacon technology.
Auto: Tesla Motors
Why: Two of three U.S. Auto Index brands offer apps linking cars and smartphones, but most of those apps are low-rated and infrequently updated. Tesla is different. The brand’s connected car app not only provides diagnostic information but also lets users control their vehicles, with lock, climate control, and remote start among its many functionalities. While zooming ahead in the connected car space, Tesla is also looking out for everyone else: the brand makes its patents public in hopes that the car industry will follow its lead. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they’re getting the message.
Hotels: Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Why: Only 14% of Millennials between the ages of 18 and 34 are enrolled in a hotel loyalty program, suggesting that wooing them will require new, creative incentives. In 2014, Hilton motivated guests to join its loyalty program by allowing HHonors members to choose their own rooms when they check in through the HHonors app. The brand has also committed to make keyless entry available in all of its properties by the end of 2016 and partnered with Uber to introduce the “Local Scenes” feature, which recommends local restaurants and nightlife destinations to guests based on trending Uber destinations and then lets them reserve cars within the app.
Sportswear: Under Armour
Why: With fitness apps growing more popular than wearable devices, single-purpose wearable fitness trackers are expected to decline. Under Armour recognizes that future with its pioneering UA Record app – a proprietary mobile-based social network with an Instagram-like newsfeed and seamless integration of content and commerce. With over 150 million registered users, the brand now boasts what may be the world’s largest fitness community.