On my first look at the Superdry app, I was pleasantly surprised. I do not know why my expectations were primarily low, but I suppose the fact that my expectations were surpassed, made my first viewing experience all the better.
The opening screen displays a promo shot from the brand, comprising of both a female and male model in the retailers latest collection. It is an initial reminder that the brand caters for both males and females, and of course acts as inspiration for the latest products. From this page, the user can access either the male or female product areas or the menu screen.
The women's section displays a horizontal list of every Superdry category in alphabetical order. This goes on for a few pages, and is perhaps a tad too much. For example, I'm sure that cargo pants and chinos could have been categorised into one, simple 'Bottoms' category, but yet again that would create a longer link trail. Swings and roundabouts I suppose. Nevertheless, its easy enough to use, just perhaps a bit dark for my liking. An app can look unisex and portray an outdoor, urban vibe without being designed in black, I'm sure.
When the user has moved into the category of their choice, they are then given product photography. The products are displayed in rows of three, displaying a price below. Fairly standard for product viewing lists. A feature that the brand has integrated though is a customisation tool in the top right hand corner. The user can customise the screen to view the products 3x3 or alternatively as a vertical list of horizontal product bars. In this way, the user can choose how they want to shop on the app. Nice. Yet, I really don't like how inconsistent the images are in terms of their backgrounds, shadows and colours. It looks messy and slightly unprofessional, but more on that in a second...
The individual product screens are again standard and useful enough. A large product image is displayed pride of place, with alternative views if the user scrolls horizontally. At this point only a brief description and price are on the page. I think my qualm with these pages is the photography. The product images are somewhat boring and standard. They don't seem bright and vibrant or even high quality. It is the image that sells the garments on a mobile or online store, so they really need to inspire the user and make them imagine they are wearing the item. For some reason, these images just don't do that for me. Think ASOS or Black Milk, or even something similar to their promotional shoots.
For more information, the user can select the information icon in the top right corner. It displays a longer product description, colour and material, yet why the materials are listed alongside 'UK size reference' I am unsure. Yet, it is an ample amount of information.
The product pages continue in the same way, yet also include a 'Whats hot' category compiled by the brand, I suppose for the latest trend advice. Otherwise there are no other pages within the women's area unrelating to products. If the user moves to the menu however, accessed via the upturned arrow in the bottom right corner, they can view a number of alternative areas.
My bag is pretty self explanatory. Horizontal bars of chosen products with a size reference and price. The user can checkout in a number of ways including using Paypal which is clearly advertised for consumers piece of mind.
The store finder. Generic; find your nearest store, view the map, give us a call.
One of the areas on the app that surprised me the most was the 'Vision' area. It was refreshing and interesting to see a brand refer to their campaign imagery as a vision, as of course, that is what they are intending to sell. The area consists of landscape and portrait images of the latest photo shoots, set in the usual Superdry style yet selling the vision of the brand. It adds inspiration and informs you visually about this brand, which I always love to see. This gained some brownie points.
The social area again is something slightly different. No other apps that I have seen have titled an area as a 'social' area, possibly due to the multitude of consumers who are backing away from social media marketing. Yet, there still are many who are interested in this side of a brand, and I did like the way that they had stored the different networks away.
The Superdry blog is fairly standard, yet unfortunately it is not optimised for mobile usage. Another of my pet hates. If other retailers (i.e. French Connection, H&M) can create a mini blog feed within their apps, then so can every one else. It will improve the social media influence so much more, not to mention the users experience. It seems so simple, yet so many retailers have failed to realise this.
The social network areas are merely links to the mobile versions supported inside the app. I'm not a fan of this approach really, where perhaps an automatically updating list of recent feeds within an optimised setting would be more relevant, similar to H&M. Yet, I guess that some people may 'Like' or 'Follow' the networks via this route, but just how many, I'm really not sure.
The account area allows the user to log in to their account or register for one. Pretty self explanatory.
And finally, the 'Info' area. Now this I appreciated a lot. The information sections here are very well categorised. Four categories are displayed relating to customer services, general information, brand information and an encouraging list of reasons why you should shop. Very simple and very appropriate.
Moving into each category, each subject is again clearly listed. The 'Why Shop' tab informs the user as to why buying from the retailer is a good idea, with free delivery and guaranteed returns. It's a simple way of reassuring those consumers whose main reason for not shopping is their lack of understanding of the delivery and returns procedures.
The customer services area is again succint. Each area is simple, clear and to the point.
Again, 'the brand' area allows further information as to the brands history, careers and their security policy. I haven't as of yet seen a retailer app go into such detail as to include recruitment and investor information, but it may be relevant to some. It does not hurt to have it there, so why not.
Overall, the app is an easy and consistent purchasing channel for the Superdry consumer. They are able to view and purchase products easily, view the latest brand imagery, read any information they would like and connect with the retailers social media. The only things that are really lacking are perhaps more product viewing aids, such as product videos, catwalk videos or advertisements. The blog should be optimised for mobile and the social networks integrated in a much more user-friendly fashion. Furthermore, as I have said previously, I believe this brands online efforts would be improved if they were to reconsider their approach to their product viewing imagery. The images of the products need to be more inspiring, brighter, vibrant, appealing. At the moment, there is something about them that makes me feel bored and uninterested, and I am a fan of this brand!. Especially with the overall design being so dark and masculine, vibrant product imagery would add an exciting touch and improve the overall experience.
Yet, due to some great effort being put into this app, I still award a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
All screenshots taken of the Superdry app, February 2012.