Cosmetics and salon chain Ulta Beauty is one of the first retailers to take advantage of Spotlight search for its iPhone application, enabling users to easily find recently viewed items by swiping on the screen.
With iOS 9, Spotlight search enables developers to surface content within apps already on a user’s phone as well as content on the Web that can be accessed by swiping on their screen. As retailers continue to explore ways to streamline navigation and discovery on a phone’s small screen, Ulta Beauty’s adoption Spotlight search points to a path that, so far, has not been widely adopted.
“The fact that Ulta is trying this is a positive step because it requires relatively low effort for potentially high impact, which will pay off in the long term,” he said. “As with any mobile functionality, the more places your brand can be seen; the better.”
In the spotlight
Spotlight search is one way that retailers can help shoppers easily find items they are interested in without having to navigate through multiple screens on an app.
The Spotlight search page sits to the left of the home screen and organizes suggested content across several categories with deep links to a developer’s Web site or app content.
Ulta Beauty recently updated its iPhone app with several new features that make it easier for users to engage with the brand’s products and services.
In addition to the Spotlight search integration, users can now opt-in for push notifications to find out about exclusive offers and upcoming events.
Short attention spans
Making products of interest easy to find on a phone screen is one way retailers are trying to drive conversions on mobile, as traffic continues to grow.
“The attention span of a mobile user is short, but if they see your brand consistently through mobile Web, apps, Spotlight Search, and other channels, the brand becomes much more sticky to the consumer,” Mr. Chiang said.