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Fab aligns app update with product discovery, search

May 21, 2013

Online retailer is shying away from its original focus on flash sales with a revamp for its mobile applications with features that help consumers wade through inventory quickly.

The updates are rolling out across Fab’s iOS and Android apps. Over the past few years the company has steadily been increasing the number of products that are sold via its site.

“Shop and browse are important to the brand experience and ultimately shopper conversion,” said Steve Timpson, chief operating officer of Siteminis, Atlanta.

“Eighty-two percent of shoppers use search engines when browsing product info in-store according to Google research, so yes it is important for brands to focus on search and browse with mobile engagement with consumers,” he said.

Mr. Timpson is not affiliated with Fab. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Fab declined to comment for this story.

Mobile revamp
Version 5.0 of Fab’s mobile app is available for free download from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

The app has been updated to include improved search to make it easier for consumers to sort through Fab’s inventory by three criteria – color, price and category.

Consumers can either type keywords into a search bar or click on one of the criteria to filter down their search.

The app has also been redesigned to focus on discovery and browsing.

For example, once consumers are in a product category – such as jewelry – big, swipable buttons at the top of the screen let consumers browse through edited collections, such as new arrivals or most popular items.

Below, consumers can view products grouped into broader categories, such as necklaces, rings and bracelets.

Social is also heavily integrated into the app.

Basic sharing across Facebook, Twitter, email and SMS are included into product pages  in addition to the brand’s Live Feed, which shows the most popular products for the day.

Additionally, Fab orders of more than $75 receive free shipping.

Fab sent out an email blast to announce the new app revamp to its users.

Mobile past
Mobile has played a big role for Fab in the past.

In February, the company revamped its iPhone, iPad and Android app with features that focused on navigation. At the time, roughly 30 percent of the company’s sales came from mobile (see story).

Additionally, 56 percent of Fab’s revenue in the United States on Christmas Day came from mobile this past year, showing the important role of mobile to trigger quick sales (see story).

Fab’s revamps show how the company is shifting slightly away from its original focus on time-sensitive deals to selling a wide variety of products.

Fab also launched a Web site revamp earlier this month that also focuses on search to let consumers scour through products quickly.

“Convenience and savings are leading drivers for mobile use,” Mr. Timpson said.

“Mobile interaction is the fastest point of consumer engagement to date,” he said.

“Flash value opportunities are significantly relevant to any brand.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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