The Topshop App - Don't get too excited!

Click here to read about Topshop's recent app update.

The Topshop app manages to embody the Topshop image synonymously. It's colours and structure imitate their website although enable a certain amount of mobile usability. The app begins with a loading screen boldly displaying the Topshop logo on a black background. The menu screen, comprising of a list of menu buttons and a styled Topshop model, also allows the user to view an FAQ section, contact information and includes a link to the Topshop website.

The app is currently non-transactional and has been since it's launch as a mobile application. This means that the user can browse yet not buy, and I mention 'browse' very loosely. As a user, you cannot view all products, only a selection of new-in garments. It seems surprising that the brand has not enabled transactions via their app after they have placed so much effort into the design of their website. You would think with the number of mobile shoppers rising dramatically, that Topshop would be hoping to get a slice of the pie.

Overall, the app works as an extension of the brands channels, yet strictly for the purpose of promotion, brand building and awareness, not as an extension into a third selling channel.

If you're noticing that I bear little enthusiasm for the app, you would notice correctly. Although clear, simply presented and easy enough to use, the app lacks the flair and excitement that consumers relate with the Topshop brand. I was speaking to a friend of mine a week or so ago during an interview I was conducting, and she boldly stated how bored she was with Topshop and their lack of updates. She had noticed that the app hasn't altered its appearance since she first downloaded it a year or so again, and it was affecting her feelings towards the brand. For a consumer who carries her phone with her everywhere, shouldnt Topshop be focusing upon impressing this consumer and offering them something that immediately grabs their interest?

The 'favourites' feature, where users can save their favourite products for later viewing, is a nice touch. Similarly, the video function displaying make up tutorials, collaboration videos and behind the scenes content is an attractive feature, yet does not get updated regularly. They have also integrated a blog displayed as a bitesize list and an 'Inbox' section, sending the user 'personal emails' regarding the latest information and promotions.

Beyond these features, the app fails to create a lasting impression. If you're looking for something to fill the time on a train journey or to check out a new skirt you've noticed in the store window, then this will be adequate. Otherwise, you might want to wait until they design a transactional app with the same effort as their website.

All images screenshot from the Topshop App, May 2011. 

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