A description and critical review is given about the fashion app Net-A-Porter , written by two students of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute: Michelle Nikelski and Damla Oktay.
We now live in a striving era where technology is constantly being redefined while innovation is immensely rising. Technology has a strong influence in our daily lives as we rely on it more frequently (source). Nowadays, apps are a global trending topic. With the help of an app, brands are able to have access to almost anything in terms of interacting with their customers and creating a deeper and stronger level of connection with them (source).
When the application Net-A-Porter was created, it pioneered the launch of a fashion retail site for those who didn’t have much time on their hands but still expected high quality products with rapid delivery timings. The online retailer was originally founded by Natalie Massenet, who was responsible for bringing fashion to the world’s keyboards (source).
Due to its global success and along with social media on the rise Natalie Massenet took the opportunity to launch The Net-A-Porter app in 2009. The app was constructed in the format of a magazine and was sponsored by Stella McCartney. Its role was to target the working professional women with higher-than-average incomes, are tech-savvy and have an eye for the hottest trends. The app enlists of a maximum exposure of designers on their index page, ranging from A-Z top-selling designers (source). It also expresses a culturally inspired lifestyle à la mode, which encourages customers to purchase products wherever and whenever they pleased.
Through the app, consumers connect with Net-A-Porter’s ecommerce store. Upon choosing a garment, the app provides the customer with a detailed explanation of the product regarding materials and fittings. Underneath you will find an impression of the application.
The structure and content of Net-A-Porter’s app is organized coherently by offering a home page, portraying seven of the hottest topics of the season along with an enlisted menu arranging products from clothing attire to sportswear. Referring to its visual style, the app composes of a rather traditional layout with a simple black and white background with professionally coloured images of their products. According to an expert pigment analyser B. Miller, black and white layouts allow the reader to focus more on the object itself rather than the subject. In this case, Net-A-Porter created a traditional and simple layout in order to have consumers focus entirely on their products rather than having any distractions such as daily fashion news (source). Moreover, the traditional layout conveys a timeless and classic ambience.
While observing consumers reactions towards the app, we noticed that it was either a love or hate scenario. The majority of users claimed that it was a well designed app that was simple to use, consisted of a chic selection of garments from top designers- overall were generously satisfied. However, others claimed that the app had severe technical issues and bugs, which prevented them from being able to access the app. Other dilemmas included difficulties within currencies as it was set on British Pounds and that the prices of the garments were out of their price range. In terms of success, since the app’s launch users have downloaded it via iTunes and Google Play more than 1.8 million times.
As it is placed as a luxury online retailer, the Net-A-Porter app solely refers to the A list designers of the season and doesn’t refer to celebrities or of any sort of media as it wants to have users focus strictly on their products. Whereas compared to their website, they refer to magazines, celebrities and cultural icons as it would encourage consumers to spend more time on their site.
Overall, we believe the Net-A-Porter application is a huge success in terms of their target group; women who don’t have much time on their hands are able to achieve quick and efficient experiences by purchasing with the app. They are placed in the ‘fast shopper’ category, which endorses them to use the app more than those who are outside of the target group. Because of its specific product categories and structured and concise layout, fast shoppers are able to navigate their way around effortlessly.
There are several reasons as to why the app is not as attractive for those outside of their target group, like younger girls with more time but less money to spend. Despite the fact that Net-A-Porter website conveys inspiration for all of us, the app solely focuses on online purchasing. Although they do claim to have inspiration on it, it actually lacks it. There are no texts or creative descriptions or even inspired pictures whatsoever. Therefore, in a way it takes the fun out of shopping. We would like to see more inspiring and creative aspects of the app, instead of showing exclusive designer products that are not near our price range even if it was in our deepest desire to purchase them.
Net-A-Porter’s app, without a doubt, has the potential to offer a lot more than what it has right now. It could consist of a lot more stimulating selections that would trigger more audiences such as daily fashion updates or even promoting campaigns from the brands they sell. If Net-A-Porter would take this into consideration, it would target those outside of their target group, which would result in an immense increase of app downloads.