A new lease of life for an iconic brand...
Andertons music, based in Guildford are one of the UK’s leading independent music retailers. They pride themselves on being a market leader in the online space. To stay at the forefront of digital commerce requires an awareness of the latest technological advances, the ability to recognise which of those technologies will help meet current and future business objectives and a passion to embrace and develop those technologies in a way that enhances brand presence in the online space.
In partnership with Sparkstone, the Andertons online platform has evolved to meet consumer demand and expectation. With the right technology in place and a solid commitment to customer service, Andertons’ website has gone from success to success.
A change in consumer internet usage
Over the past two years the way we access the web and communicate with individuals and businesses has changed dramatically. The web is no longer accessed solely on PC, but on a wide range of devices, from Internet enabled TVs to portable tablets and smartphones.
Content delivery to such a wide and varying range of platforms brings with it a great many challenges. It isn’t just a case of making the website fit on a larger range of screens. The biggest challenge is making data available to users across the full spectrum of devices, whilst maintaining core brand values.
Of all the competing technologies, it is mobile that has seen the largest rise in internet usage. Developments in hardware, the roll out of contracts offering sensible data plans, more affordable smartphones and the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones, have together led to a mobile internet explosion. Some estimates suggest that by 2013, internet access on a mobile device will overtake that of desktop.
The potential of mobile was recognised at an early stage by both Andertons and Sparkstone, which led to a collaboration on a mobile website for the brand.
Initial research focussed on whether to create a native or an open standards web application. In order to maximise the potential of the app and reach the largest possible audience in a market fragmented by operating systems and handsets, the decision was made to create a web app using open web standards.
Adhering to web standards and best practices is something Sparkstone prides itself on in everyday “desktop” development, so we had a good platform from which to build. The powerful nature of the latest technologies also provided the opportunity to implement functionality similar to that of native apps, providing the user with a friendly “native-like” mobile experience.
Through taking such an approach, the site is able to work across multiple platforms (Windows Mobile, iOS, Android etc) and numerous handsets, giving Andertons mobile the biggest reach possible. This also allows us to maintain a single codebase rather than separate instances for iOS, Android etc and means future development can be easily integrated into the application.