Tea Collection fashions an iPad app

March 26, 2012 03:31 PM

The surest reason for a retailer to create an iPad app is because a growing number of the merchant’s customers are using the mega-popular tablet computers.

“Our customers are shopping from tablets—we have been amazed to see the growth of traffic from customers on iPads,” says Leigh Rawdon, CEO and co-founder of Tea Collection, which sells apparel and accessories for women and children. Rawdon declines to give exact iPad traffic figures. “We want to be sure that these customers have a way to shop and discover Tea that takes advantage of all that the iPad offers.”

What the iPad offers is a high-definition, speedy, touchscreen method for shopping, one that differs greatly from desktop PC shopping. And Tea Collection recognizes that. Its app opens with a vivid, full-screen photo of a stylishly dressed girl in a lush, tropical location, with Shop Category and Shop Experience buttons. From there customers can swipe their way through the merchant’s entire collection.

Product pages offer large, crisp images and product details, along with social media integration, where customers can see Facebook comments on the products. When a shopper taps her shopping bag, the e-commerce site checkout page for Tea Collection, No. 879 in the Internet Retailer Second 500 Guide, pops up within the app. She can complete her transaction within the app, close the window and return from the e-commerce pages to the app pages.

The merchant hired mobile developer Revel Touch to build the app. Tea Collection’s design team came up with the look for the app and Revel Touch built it, populating the application via the retailer’s product data feed. The feed is the same used for the e-commerce site, so any change made to the e-commerce site automatically is made in the app.

“The app came to life with very little work on our side,” Rawdon says. “It’s connected to our site through the feed. It makes it easy so we don’t have to do anything on the back-end. We focus on keeping the creative fresh and dynamic and the back end just works.”

Tea Collection says it’s very happy with the end result and is looking forward to seeing how its iPad shoppers use the app.

“Revel Touch gets that the iPad is a device for leisure so a shopping experience should be less about getting down to business and more about magic, romance and discovery,” Rawdon says. “Our designers had a vision and the Revel platform was flexible enough to make it happen without a tedious implementation process.”

Tea Collection will expand its mobile commerce portfolio by summer when it will launch an m-commerce site for smartphones.

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