I took the Dell and Newegg mobile iPad apps out for a spin this week. Among the sites we track, Dell and Newegg seem to be the only two companies that have jumped into the ecommerce end of the iPad app pool (update! CDW just launched its app). Since Dell and Newegg are the first, it’s time to see if they are the best.
Dell: Close but no cigar
First, let’s consider Dell’s app (which runs on both iPhone and iPad), which delivers the broadest range of capabilities. The ability to browse and buy Dell products. Check orders. View classic support content and (drum roll please) access a nice assortment of support videos.
Given all of these goodies, you’d think the Dell mobile app would be a slam dunk. You’d be wrong. The culprit? A smart phone-optimized design and interface that doesn’t translate to the iPad. Clunky, clumsy, clueless, and certainly not up to Dell’s online brand.
Newegg does it better
If a great design and savvy interface are your cup of tea, Newegg’s app current sets the iPad standard. Great design. Crisp images. Perfect look and feel. Add easy to use—and this app hits all of the marks. Product details, reviews, return policies, and fast paths to similar products. The shopping cart and check out processes are works of art.
On the other hand, if you want mobile support, you’re out of luck. Newegg’s app is for browsing and buying. If your product is broken, you’ll have to go somewhere else.
Cisco gets it — again
Since mobile support is part of Dell’s iPad app DNA, I decided to see what’s up on the iPad support front. Cisco’s iPad support app (launched last March) is a great example of this new genre. Like Newegg, Cisco.com read the memo on the importance of optimizing for the iPad with a crisp design and great interface. The app’s content architecture and features are also first rate. If developing an iPad support app is on your dance card, this should be at the top of your “inspiration” list.
So there you have it. Dell’s iPad/smart phone app covers most of the bases, and Newegg and Cisco end up hitting all of the home runs.
There’s a new case study in the Library that identifies the six Apps that should be on your dance card–and three things you shouldn’t ignore. Library subscribers can download it here. If you aren’t a member of the family, you can learn more about the Case Studies Library here.