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Shiseido Americas Corp. exec: Responsive design site increased smartphone conversions 54pc

February 27, 2013

PALM DESERT, CA – A Shiseido Americas Corp. executive at the eTail West conference said that by deploying a site built with responsive design, its beauty brand Nars increased smartphone check-out conversions by 54 percent.

Executives from Shiseido Americas Corporation and 5th finger presented a case study during the “How Nars Cosmetics Got All the Benefits of Responsive Design Without Rebuilding Their Site” session. Previous to the recent initiative, Nars did not have a mobile or tablet site.

“There are so many devices launching every day that are different sizes, and when we kicked off the project, we were not expecting iPad mini, so that became a conversation for us,” said Jeanette Garner, vice president of ecommerce for Shiseido and Nars at Shiseido Americas Corporation, New York.

Mobile beauty
Nars launched the site on Jan. 11, which took 14 weeks to design.

In addition to the 54 percent increase in smartphones, check-out conversions from a tablet increased 24 percent as a result of the site launch.

The company decided to roll out a responsive site because of limited teams and structure that could not back up three different sites.

Nowadays, brands have to constantly think mobile-first. If a marketer cannot afford to fully invest in mobile, then it is critical that they think strategically to alter their desktop site.

When it comes to features that mobile users are most responsive to, the goal was to clean up the amount of content and help consumers discover products while still keeping the Nars branding.

Since Nars is a luxury beauty brand, the company’s creative team played a big role in the site revamp.

For example, scaling up a mobile homepage image to the desktop did not fit the Nars aesthetic. Instead, the company used unique assets for mobile.

This increased the team’s workflow with the brand now running quality checks on both the desktop and mobile sites in multiple browsers.

In particular, Ms. Garner said that the tablet is cannibalizing ecommerce, meaning that it is critical for brands to have a mobile commerce experience.

Going into the future, omnichannel is harder for Nars since the company sells its products directly to retailers.

“For us mobile commerce really launched out of our ecommerce team, and there are many things that we need to consider from an omnichannel standpoint,” Ms. Garner said.

“However, we have a bit of channel conflict because we sell into retailers as a core part of our business so we’re essentially competing with them in the space,” she said.

“Omnichannel is a little bit difficult for us – it will be something that we really need to think about and put some strategies behind.”

Customer first
One of Nars’ requirements with the site launch was to satisfy its SEO work. The brand did not want its SEO efforts segmented across different types of sites.

Additionally, thinking about the use case for what consumers were looking for on a smartphone versus a tablet was key.

“It’s obviously critical for us all nowadays to get to market quickly but also have a site and a solution with technology that is maintainable, and not end up with two or three different Web sites,” said Steen Andersson, vice president of 5th Finger, a Merkle company, San Francisco.

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

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