Cupid’s Missed Shots: How Brands Perform on Mobile

In Commentary, Mobile Testing by Dan Engel

Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Indeed, no holiday mixes the most personal feelings of affection with commerce in such a public fashion. When February 14 arrives, few couples will be able to evade the pressure to demonstrate their undying love and affection with a trinket or two.

So, yummy chocolate truffles? A dozen roses? Glistening diamonds? Or (just in case my wife is reading this) a new Ducati? What is the perfect way to your mate’s heart?

Major brands, of course, have put their stamp on Valentine’s Day with remarkable success. Whether it’s a diamond from Kay Jewelers, a Hershey Kiss or a Hallmark Card, their names are practically synonymous with Cupid’s arrows. At the same time, these brands seek to make shopping supremely easy, fast and friction-free for customers, which in 2016 means delivering an optimal mobile experience.

Finding Cupid Online

For the first major consumer holiday of 2016, love-struck consumers are expected to lay out a whopping $19.7 billion. That’s up from $18.9 billion in 2015, says the National Retail Federation. More than a fourth (28%) of Valentine’s sales are predicted to occur online, where the mobile channel is intrinsic to the customer’s journey ‒ whether it’s browsing flower bouquets, comparing diamond prices, studying restaurant reviews, or making the final purchase.

Do Brands Succeed with Mobile Shopping?

So that brings us to our big question: how well do brands actually succeed in engaging and converting customers on mobile?

Well, let’s just say no one is perfect.

As the following examples reveal, brand after brand only partly succeed in its visual presentation and load time. Why the failures? Certainly part of the blame is due to the sheer plurality of mobile devices (over 24,000) – no team of web designer and developer can deliver 100% on all phones and tablets. But furthermore, brands simply lack visibility into their mobile performance. They can’t tell why Cupid’s golden arrows are going astray or, instead, why their website has just scored a bull’s eye and made a sale. They lack the visibility into their mobile UX, which is precisely what Mobilizer and its online mobile testing labs are meant to remedy — easily, accurately and in about 35 seconds.

We begin, just like every kiss, with Kay Jewelers. And we deploy our easy Mobilizer tool to quickly test Kay’s website visual display on market-leading mobile devices.

At first glance, Kay’s website, no doubt, delivers a sinking feeling to the eager consumer. The famous jewelry firm seems to have moved its full-sized web pages with all their detail completely to the much smaller screen of my phone, without consideration for responsive web design. Shopping here looks to be a cluttered and confusing task.

Kay mobile shopping

But delving further into Kay’s website, one actually discovers a clean and easy format for viewing and selecting the perfect budget-fitting gift.

Kay mobile close up

Diamonds may last forever, but I’ve always appreciated the immediate awe-inspiring pleasure of chocolate. On mobile, Hershey’s website is simply delectable.

hershey's mobile shopping

Godiva, like Kay’s, features a home page that strains the eyes on mobile, while load times of 12-16 seconds tax the patience. Below the fold, however, Godiva offers crisp, clear, easy, mouth-watering selections:

Godiva valentine's mobile shopping

Want to please the kids or tickle your mate’s fancy with a bit of nostalgia. Don’t forget the candy Valentine’s hearts. Unfortunately, Necco’s website systematically chops off images on tablets, as this screenshot from the iPad Mini reveals:

necco mobile shopping for valentine's

The clock is ticking down to February 14 – are you running late? What to do? Whip out your trusty phone and ensure on-time fast delivery of an astounding bouquet of brilliantly red roses. Among

the leading online flower merchants, FTD looks close to perfect on mobile, albeit a bit staid. On the devices tested by Mobilizer, FTD failed only on Kindle Fire with cut-off images and text. Tablets, in fact, are often the achilles heel in firms’ mobile performance.

FTD mobile shopping

Flowers not your thing? Never understood the attraction of colorful plants? Would you rather don a helmet and take your mate for a blistering ride through the backroads? Yessss! A Ducati is a must on my Valentine’s list. The only drawback to the Ducati website with its glorious depiction of powerful machine and untamed nature are the badly chopped images as displayed on Android phones. Our poor Ducati rider must be so in love that he (or she) has simply lost their head!


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