There is little I can say about the Warehouse app that I have not said before. The developers, NN4M (No Need For Mirrors), are also the developers behind Oasis, Coast, Karen Millen and Figleaves to name a few, hence why they all look practically the same. They are also the masterminds behind the River Island app, who have fortunately managed to break the mould and create something extra special. However, Warehouse did not manage to break away from the rest and instead has an app almost identical to that of its Aurora Fashions co-brand Oasis. For this reason I am not going to run through every feature on this app as you can read about the Warehouse app via my review of the Oasis app. I will however make a few pointers where there may be a slight differentiation.
Please don't get me wrong though, NN4M are absolutely fantastic at developing and designing retail apps and are hugely successful at doing so. At the end of the day, they are creating an app according to a brief the retailer has set, therefore if one retailer is not bothered about their app looking like another, then it is their prerogative, not the developers. I have just strongly picked up on the fact that many of the apps developed by NN4M follow a similar structure and layout. It is obviously a design that is tried and tested and successful and therefore they are rolling it out to further apps. Perhaps the brands within Aurora Fashions actually want their apps to look similar in order to form a company recognisability, alike to the congruency of the Zara and Pull and Bear Inditex apps. Yet, I guess I can only speculate. Now moving on ...
The main screens are of course different in brand imagery, with an image being laid behind the menu buttons listed vertically. The categorisation is also the same, and allows the user an easy product search experience.
The warehouse blog has again been integrated into the app in an unoptimised form. On this occasion, the blog page did not work (above left), which doesn't really bode well. Again, I'm really not a fan of utilising unoptimised blogs within apps. It's just lazy.
The main difference between the two apps is the removal of the Oasis 'Looks' tab for the Warehouse 'Style Studio TV' - a video area where the user can view the latest Warehouse videos for events, style advice and new collections information. I like the fact that the app has utilised videos for the consumers viewing, they add a further persuasion and encouragement for the user to purchase based on their retrieval of crucial product information, yet removing promotional imagery for such is a shame. Videos are almost promo images under another name, and for this, the two apps remain joint in their efforts.
For this reason, I award the Warehouse the same star rating as Oasis, as they are fairly indistinguishable. They are professional apps, with brilliant product viewing features and information, yet some things need to be tweaked and others added, in order to make the app a truly informational, inspirational and functional channel.
All screenshots taken of the Warehouse app, March 2012