Want more mobile sales? Tinder shows how

Retailers selling on mobile have been slow to adapt to mobile user behaviour, and are missing out on sales. That’s according to research from Moovweb, a cloud-based mobile optimisation platform.

Based in San Francisco, the company’s clients include department store giants Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdales. The company reviewed its own customer data, but also looked at the top 50 Fortune 500 retailer mobile sites in the US.

Moovweb’s findings:

  • On smartphones, over half (54%) the retailers displayed results in list view; the rest in grid view.
  • Only 16% gave mobile users the option to choose between the views — but there was often no difference in the information shown.
  • Next to no retailers allowed users to switch to a swipe-based view (Macy’s and Forever 21 are mentioned as exceptions).

Screenshot-12-1-1Spot the difference? There’s none. PetSmart’s mobile grid view shows the same details as the list view.

Why is offering a swipe view important? According to the company’s blog post on the study, “the swipe and shop feature allows shoppers to browse products with a thumb swipe and add products to their shopping bag with the tap of an icon.”

Just as websites like Amazon helped popularise website navigation and interaction, swiping has been popularised by mobile apps such as Tinder.


In grid view, Macy’s is one of the few retailers to let mobile consumers swipe and shop.

Commenting on the research, Moovweb VP of Marketing Haresh Kumar said that millennials, in particular, are used to swiping and have come to expect it. He’s also uniquely placed to make the observation that, in his view, brands will soon start supporting Apple’s 3D Touch and Live Photos.

Why should you care?

As more and more consumers turn to their smartphones when visiting websites, retailers have to give more thought as to what it is these mobile users want and expect.

List or Grid? Moovweb suggests offering consumers a list view when they want additional information about products; a grid view if they want to swipe through their options.

Our advice? Give them a choice where you can and, if you are trying to appeal to millennials, keep pace with new mobile technology and user behaviour.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.