Mobile-First eCommerce Platform – How Did New Era Launch Mobile-First in 7 Days?
Richard Mathias, Senior Technology Architect at LiveArea, discusses New Era’s fresh mobile-first direct-to-consumer commerce platform – deployed in just a week.
January 28, 2019
Most web traffic and online purchases are now conducted on mobile devices. According to analysis of browsing and buying behavior, in the UK and Northern Europe mobile devices accounted for 54% of online transactions in Q3 2018, with smartphone purchases increasing 10% year-on-year.
But many brands are still thinking back-to-front with their digital storefronts. Websites and online stores are often built for desktop, and basically squeezed into mobile versions using responsive design. That’s not mobile-first.
Developing a mobile-first website or online store is similar to designing a mobile app, then adapting the layout so it can be viewed easily on tablet and desktop. But it is fundamentally mobile-first. Designs and layouts are focused on delivering the optimal mobile user experience. Think fast load speeds, rich media content, easy touchscreen navigation and one-tap buy buttons.
New Era for D2C Mobile Commerce
New Era, the American baseball cap company, went mobile-first with its quick-launch direct-to-consumer online store. The launch, in partnership with SAP Upscale Commerce, demonstrated the platform’s capability to launch a transactional, attractive mobile-first storefront in just a few days. It’s one of many solutions in eCommerce today that help brands go to market quickly with an intelligent, mobile-first strategy. Like other smart, agile solutions, Upscale Commerce is a SaaS product enhanced with artificial intelligence and online payment options.
Why Did New Era Go Mobile-First?
Brands have realised that prioritising mobile and delivering a simple, frictionless consumer experience on smartphone is vital when engaging with today’s consumer. Also, Google’s Mobile First Index now means mobile versions of pages are crawled and shown first, over desktop, and mobile UX is a key ranking factor. There’s no escaping it – brands need to think mobile-first.
Makes Sense. Why Haven’t Others Gone Mobile-First?
For some, developing a mobile-first commerce store from scratch can be seen as a complex, overwhelming project. It’s often expensive, and requires lots of custom coding which can take months to complete. Particularly, for many B2B or D2C businesses that are yet to embrace mobile-first or native mobile apps, it can be an afterthought.
So What Exactly Did New Era Do?
New Era is traditionally a wholesaler – selling its products to sports retailers. More recently, the brand evolved its model and built a direct-to-consumer platform. This launch allowed New Era an easy way to introduce a new mobile commerce platform to experiment with direct-to-consumer sales.
How Did They Do It?
New Era used SAP Upscale Commerce – SAP’s new SaaS product enhanced with artificial intelligence and online payment options. It’s essentially a smart, agile solution to quickly deploy mobile-first commerce. Drag and drop, code-free configuration allows brands to quickly develop attractive online stores. It’s one of many offerings on the market today that are helping brands go to market quickly with an intelligent, mobile-first strategy.
Why Now? Why Agile?
Businesses now need to easily engage, educate, and sell to customers across various channels and devices, through flexible and scalable software. Platforms need to be developed quickly – in days and not months – and maintained with minimal effort and cost. SaaS products like these are ideal for launching a new brand or product line, testing a new market, or going direct-to-consumer for the first time.
And LiveArea Throws Its Hat into the Ring…
LiveArea is an experienced commerce services provider, supporting brands with commerce strategy, platform implementation, UX design and digital marketing services. We help brands develop effective mobile-first strategies – with in-depth knowledge of the tools needed to deliver quickly, and the understanding to build a strategy and roadmap the journey to strengthen customer loyalty and increase sales.