We asked our users to tell us what is the first characteristic they look at when visually comparing two phones. Out of four available options, the 82% chose “size”.
Given the time we spend holding our phones, this doesn’t come as a real surprise. The usability, the way it fits in our pockets or bags and the way we consume media, are all important factors when choosing your next device.
As a consequence Telco providers, as well as other platforms, started adopting more or less creative ways to help customers make a more informed decision on what to buy next. The first obvious step is to shift size information on top of the tech sheet for each phone.
We looked at the product page of 119 e-shops belonging to Telecommunication companies and we categorized them into three groups:
No emphasis on size
Device size is mentioned as text
Device size was highlighted with an icon
12% of the pages clearly mention "Size" above the fold and 78% of them went “the extra mile” and decided to pick an icon to grab the customer's attention.
Unfortunately, cm or inches don’t mean much to consumers. That is why we end up taking a ruler or a reference object attempting to understand how long those 8,56 cm really are. That also results in some sort of "guessing-game" where length width and thickness all play a different role. As a result, the experience of comparing products is far from optimal.
Luckily, important steps forward have been made to help consumers. Beside the option to compare two phone’s specs sheets, several other websites specialized in consumer electronic raised from the anonymity to popularity thanks to the wide range of information gathered all in one platform.
Nevertheless, size still remains hard to visualize and at this point in time, no real consensus on the best common practice has been reached. Below follow four very different approaches to help consumers on their purchasing journey.
After selecting the phone of interest on Versus.com, you can toggle the full-screen view that adds a blue solid rectangle beside the frontal picture of the device. The approach relies on an on-screen calibration that takes advantage of a slider to scale the product image to a reference business card physically positioned on the screen. After the view is “calibrated” you have a good idea of the ratio with an item you can really hold in your hand.
The calibration strategy mentioned above is combined with a different visualization on phonearena.com. You can choose to run a calibration using a phone in hand or a credit card and subsequently show the front and side images of the phone stacked or side by side.
Kimovil.com undoubtedly has the most creative approach of the four! You get in fact a silhouette matching the exact size of the phone that you can subsequently print, cut and assemble. The result is a paper model matching the exact volumes of the device.
Hotspot3D.com was designed with the idea of using a reference object to understand size. In order to do that, a 3D model of the device is rendered beside a reference credit card. The scaling is done automatically and consumers can rotate the models and have an impression from different angles.
When we look at the digital sales channels for mobile devices there is still much to be done to help consumers pick the product that best suits their needs. Being “forced” to move away from the provider’s website to have a better idea of the size of the device, is inconvenient for the user and detrimental for the platform’s owner that see the precious traffic they brought to the product page moving away to other destinations.
Digitalization is a long journey and we now see more and more e-commerce platforms leveraging technological improvements to enhance the customer journey (3D and Augmented Reality just to mention a few). The bottleneck for such innovations is often not technological but rather dependent on the digital maturity of the organizations that are adventuring in these new territories. Facilitating the adoption is of paramount importance if we want to enable this transition.
At Binkies 3D we made this easy. If you want to innovate on your mobile devices sales platform do not hesitate to shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.