Mango: More fruitful than ever

I have reviewed the Mango app previously here, marking it highly as an app that included not only transactional capabilities, but special added extras. However, there were areas on the app that I noted warranted updating, such as the services information offered, and product information. I am now happy to say that these areas have been upgraded along with the rest of the app, and the results are excellent. 

The Mango app menu screen is much more interesting and concurrent with the brands other channels. Rather than a large promotional shot adorning the menu screen with a few navigation icons, the menu now comprises of tabs, extra areas, catalogues, and links to the shopping collections. Every section on the menu is selectable. 

The user can shop either Mango, H.E. By Mango - the male collection, or Touch, Mango's accessories sub-brand. Each of these tabs leads to a new menu page with a similar layout to the first. The Mango screen displayed above also comprises of four Mango areas, New, Collection, In-store and My Profile. Furthermore, the large image in the centre navigates to a Lookbook catalogue of the newest pieces for summer. Finally, the horizontal tabs below the central image additionally lead to extra areas, including the Mango magazine, blog and videos. 

The brand has really tried to create a full channel extension with this updated application, and its a true asset to the brand. 

The area labelled 'New' is as assumed. The newest garments are displayed as thumbnails that can be scrolled vertically. There is no text to display their price which may be of concern to some users, but to others, its simplicity of design and focus on the products is also appealing. 

By clicking through into an individual product area, the user is shown the garment in a number of views. The main image is displayed large on the right whilst other views are listed as small thumbnails along its left side. By selecting another of the images, the large image is swapped for the new. By additionally tapping the main image, the garment is displayed in full screen, offering a large product viewing. The user can manually zoom this image to see further details. The image interactivity technology utilised within this app has been greatly upgraded and the users ability to view the products in full is now excellent. One of my favourite aspects of this app however is just beneath the product images...

By scrolling further down the product page, the user is given a product information area. Here the user can read a product description, share the item or save the image to their phone, view the additional products photographed to complete the look, and view the care instructions for each garment. Such thorough information is fantastic and its layout and design is superb. It is clear, simple and informative, and that is all it needs to be. 

Moving into the 'Collection' button, the user can view the rest of the Mango apparel. Each category is listed, displaying the number of products within the category. After choosing a category, the garments are again listed as thumbnails, in the same layout as the 'New' area. The one problem I have to mention here however is that there is no option to refine or sort the garments. If the user  wanted to view the 265 dresses, they do not have any option to refine them by price, colour or size, therefore making product searching long and laborious. 

The 'In-store' area is again as assumed. The user can search for an area and be directed to the nearest stores, listed either in a map view or customised to a store list. 

The 'My Profile' area is the area for all of the users questions and orders. They can access their account by logging in or registering, and additionally view FAQ's. The previous app version did not have an FAQ's area and was greatly lacking in extra information. However, the brand obviously noticed such a flaw and have managed to solve the problem. 

The user can view how to purchase from the brands channels, how to use the app and how much the services cost. There are 18 questions for the user covering all aspects of the brands channels. It is again simple and straight forward.

The following images show some of the added extra areas available on the app. The April Issue tab takes the user to the Mango magazine - an inspirational collection of the latest Mango pieces and how they can be worn. The links within the magazine pages can not be selected however, but instead, the user can scroll down the page to view a list of all of the items displayed. The image can also be shared and saved onto the users phone. The magazine experience is therefore convenient and exciting, leading consumers to product purchases. 

The Mango 'Keep the Beat' blog is a great collection of writing for the Mango consumer, yet it is not overly optimised for app usage. Don't get me wrong however, it is so much better than the majority of other retailers who integrate their internet blog into their app. The only links that the user may need to click through are listed down the right hand side, making the usability fairly easy. Yet, I still feel that bite-size chunks of information in a slightly larger font would improve this area for the mobile user.

An area labelled press kit is a Lookbook of items coming soon. The line above the images reads 'On sale from July' and informs users of new products to hit the stores. The images can again be shared on networks or saved for later. 

An area named 'Click and Shop' again allows users to buy directly from product imagery and videos. By scrolling to the bottom of the page, the user can again shop the items shown in the video or images. In fact, a number of the areas incorporate product videos to show full views of the products, including runway videos and product shoots. 

The video's move to full screen view when selected and utilise the usual iPhone play and pause keys. 

The app also comprises of an archive of previous catalogues and issues of the Mango catalogue. The user can again shop the garments displayed by scrolling down the page. It adds further inspirational ideas for the user and a convenient shopping experience. The user can go straight to the product page and put each item into their bag. 

The shopping basket is again neatly presented and clear. The items are listed with the size, price and description and allows the user to quickly modify or delete the garment. The bar at the top presents the final price of the items and prompts the user to buy. 

The H.E area allows male Mango consumers to view the latest trend and spring shots, as well as the full product selection for purchasing. This section of the app works the same way as Mango, and again offers an easy and convenient way to shop. Mango Touch is the same, an easy and user-friendly way to buy the Mango Touch accessories. The colours used for each of the three sections is different, fitting in with the target consumer and brand image of the extensions.

Overall the app is filled with added extras for every consumer. The product pages are thorough, incorporating full product information, multiple product views and enlargement tools. As well as being able to buy both male and female clothing, the user can additionally view past and present Lookbooks, read the company blog, and watch recent runway and product videos. The only drawbacks of this app is firstly the lack of refining and customisation tools. The users experience with product searching would be highly improved if they were able to refine what colour or price they would like to find. Customisation tools such as image or list views for products would also be beneficial, allowing the user to switch between the thumbnail images of products, to a listed view with price and descriptions. Furthermore, more personalisation features such as 'You could also buy' would also be of benefit for those consumers looking to buy similar products and could influence Mango's sales. Additionally the blog, although very clear and simple, could be bettered with chunks of text and images in a size suitable for mobile phones. 

Otherwise the app is fantastic and an asset to the Mango brand. For this reason, I award the app a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. 

All screenshots taken of the Mango app, May 2012. 

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