One specific item I was looking for was curtains. I received a direct mail piece from Restoration Hardware where I found a set that would work perfectly in my space, but were just too expensive.
A few days later I received an email with the subject line: Special Pre-Season Savings of 15% on Our Entire Collection. Upon opening, I immediately saw the curtains I wanted, and knew I had to make them mine.
When I clicked on the image within the email it took me directly to the drapery section of the Restoration Hardware mobile website (see image below). Immediately my experience started to go south. I could barely read the content on site or navigate around. The font was too small and my fingers were too large to select what I wanted. The site clearly wasn’t mobile optimized.
Out of curiosity, I went back to the original e-mail and clicked on the mobile link at the top of the email to see if somehow I was missing the mobile optimized content.
Unfortunately, the result of my click was a very basic HTML version similar to a text version (see image at right). It was my last attempt to be patient and to try to work through it all. In the end, Restoration Hardware lost my business.
I continued my search for the perfect curtains through a new vendor, West Elm. I received an email with an enticing offer to save 15% on my next purchase. Once I clicked through, to my delight, I was provided an amazing mobile experience, found the curtains I wanted and they will soon to be hanging in my newly finished living room.
Here at Knotice, we recently published our mobile email opens report for the second half of 2011, where we have seen more consumers continue to open emails on mobile devices or tablets. Companies need to address and understand the visual presentation of this content, as well as user experience in these situations.
From my experience, it can become a costly lesson for retailers if they don’t adjust their strategy to optimize email content and direct the click through to a mobile optimized site when applicable.