Mobile commerce for fashion – a year’s worth of advice

Want to know more about mobile commerce? Poq have a year’s experience in developing apps for fashion brands, but luckily you get to read it all in one convenient blog post.

This is a summary of a TechHub talk that Oyvind from Poq gave at Google Campus this week, alongside mobile experts from Ebay and Paypal.

Read on to find out how to get a better rating on the Apple Store, what the key challenges are in app development, and top tips for getting your own app.

About Poq

We’ve been running for a year, and our mission is to enable small and medium size fashion and design brands to get their own shopping app. We recently received a major boost by being chosen to be part of Seedcamp. Currently we have 12 shopping apps, with 8 live in the App Store.

Mobile commerce and fashion

  • 51% of adults in the UK own a smart phone
  • 20% of online traffic to retailers is coming from mobile, up from 10% last year
  • Fashion has seen the biggest growth in mobile retail, and clothing/footwear are the most purchased items via mobile
  • Fashion consumers love Apple products. From our client’s data, we’ve found that 90% of traffic is on iOS (about half iPhone and half on iPad)

Why get an app instead of a mobile website?

If you can, you should get both. Providing a mobile accessible website is essential, and it’s easy to do.
But once you’ve taken that first step, there are a myriad of benefits to getting an app, including:

  • Increased sales
  • Push notifications
  • A better, smoother shopping experience
  • The ability to browse off-line
  • A boost to your brand awareness

Tatty Devine Case Study

  • Tatty Devine are a jewellery brand with 2 shops in London, an extremely popular website, and 300 stockists around the world.
  • They have a very strong online and social media following. As well as this, 40% percent of their customers have an iPhone.

The Tatty Devine App:

  • Downloaded 13,000 times. 11,000 of these people activated push notifications
  • Made the company 5 times return on their initial investment


How to get better ratings

Reviews are key when you’re looking for downloads. Our Tatty Devine app has got better reviews than many of the major fashion brands, with 4 out of 5 stars. So what the secrets to getting that rating nice and high?

The answer is to make your app work as smoothly as possible. Sounds obvious but it’s tricky. Reviews on the App Store are nearly all about technical issues. If somebody uses your app and loves it, they aren’t that likely to write a review – they’re too busy playing with it!

If somebody tries to download your app, can’t make it work and gets frustrated, they are much more likely to write a bad review as a way of expressing their frustration. We had this problem when the new iPad launched, and it led to a string of 1-star reviews. We had to work very quickly to fix it.

Secondly, you need to give people what they want, and they want to go shopping! H&M have one of  the worst reviewed fashion apps in the store, and it’s because there’s no way to buy products through it  – it’s basically a glorified ad. If you want to launch an editorial or magazine app, make sure you have shopping in place first.

The three key challenges of developing apps:

  • The screen is tiny, so you have to use it the right way. Play to its strengths –  make bright high-res pictures the centrepiece. Let people get really close to the products, holding them in their hand in a way that’s impossible with a laptop.
  • Immature technologies. In 1999 websites took forever to make as everything was hand-coded. Apps are like a return to those days. The environment is constantly changing, so it’s a challenge to keep everything updated.
  • People have really high expectations for apps! They expect your app to work as well as all the beautiful, fast, smooth apps that come pre-loaded with their phone from Apple. If you provide them with a buggy, bad-looking app, you won’t get much slack. You’re competing with the best.

Selling on mobile – our best advice

  • Check your Google Analytics and analyse who’s visiting your website and how. Other markets may have very different users to the fashion world and not be so iOS dependent.
  • Investigate the bounce rate you’re getting from mobile browsers. We’re developing an app for one company who had an 80% bounce rate from iPhone users. That’s a clear sign that something needed to be done.
  • Then you need to get onto the mobile web. It’s very easy these days, the technology’s all there.
  • Okay, so now you’re ready to get your own Native App. Have a look at our portfolio to find out more.

Any questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, send us an email at or call on 020 3286 5534.

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