Shopping for a phone, on your phone
Google approached us to envision and build an online store, that spoke of their products honestly, and felt at home on mobile devices: soon to be the place most of us do our shopping.
Having already lead the user experience behind global stores and platforms like the new sony.com and HawaiianAirlines.com, the task of creating an online store for Google was a welcome challenge. With Google, we embraced the small screen shopping experience. It is more intimate, and lends itself to new kinds of contexts and interaction patterns.
The limitations and unique considerations of browsing on a phone lead us to skew from typical e-commerce assumptions. Best practices say to put all the important decision making information on a single page, so shoppers don’t have to click through multiple pages to make a purchase decision. Best practices also suggest to put your best foot forward, with rich marketing (the brochure) up front and center.
We challenged those assumptions.
Mobile shoppers are different. We looked at where mobile shoppers actually are. On a bus. At a retail store standing in front of a computer they’re considering. In line close to making a purchase. On their lunch break.
Our research showed that while desktop shoppers are happy to sift through long pages packed with specs and descriptions, mobile shoppers usually just want the highlights. They also tend to be shopping in contexts when they want the hard facts first, cutting through the ‘fluff’ to get to the details that matter to them at that moment. The problem was, all those details still matter so some people. And Google had a story to tell about their hardware that needed a little bit of that ‘fluff.’
The new Google Store gives mobile shoppers what they need most, while still telling Google’s hardware story
We built a product detail experience leading with the hard facts, is high-level and to the point, and lets shoppers dig into details only as desired. Our PDP uses a hub and spokes model to provide access to all the product information a shopper needs, while keeping pages short and succinct. Richer product marketing is advertised at the top level, but requires an optional entry to review. Purchases are fast and mobile friendly, from anywhere in the experience.
Finally, it is nearly impossible to know for sure where in the customer journey a shopper may be when they visit a product detail page. This experience meets them at any point along their path.
The home page is clean and uncluttered, focused on the latest products.
Product pages get straight to the point, starting by letting the user look at the hardware up close.
The most important specs and features are immediately available, but in human friendly language.
Rich product marketing is available to dig into on-demand, but not forced upon the user. Purchasing is available anytime.
Product customization and purchasing is streamlined and available anytime.
A New Google
This store would define the shopping experience for Google going forward. Increasingly, Google saw that controlling the design and presentation of hardware running their software was in their best interest as a company. This store was meant to be a demonstration of what e-commerce could be when coming from Google. In many cases, it would be the only time Google actively talked about it’s hardware to customers. And being one of the first customers of Material Design, it was also a test of Google’s new design system applied to marketing and commerce.
Of course, while the store is unapologetically mobile first, it is a fully responsive experience that works equally well on any screen size and orientation.
Rich marketing looks even better on larger devices. A library of configurable and stackable components allows product marketers to tell any kind of story.
Configuring and purchase keeps shoppers in their current context, so they can easy go back to browsing if they choose.