Overall Satisfaction with Moovweb
We are a development partner for Moovweb, having built a number of major mobile sites using the technology, including Gymboree, Tractor Supply, Kirkland's, Bass Pro and a bunch of others.
I'm not a Moovweb employee, but I do work closely with a lot of the Moovweb team and as a major partner I'm involved in a lot of their product roadmap conversations. I have a lot of experience with the platform and what it can do, but I'm not an entirely neutral observer here. However a lot of my own company's reputation is staked on their technology working. I'm not sitting here recommending it if it doesn't.
Moovweb solves a bunch of different business problems in my view. If you don't have mobile and need it quick, Moovweb's approach - using a desktop site as a "source" and transforming it on the fly is quick and cost effective and robust and minimizes IT resource. If you have a mobile site, maybe a clunky responsive site, it's a good way of getting control of the UI and optimizing it. If you need an app it’s a good way of getting core E-Commerce content into it. Fundamentally it's an effective way of exploiting your desktop content in a range of situations and separating the visual output from the heavy-lifting on your back end.
- Quick to implement. You don't have to reengineer things to get your desktop content and transform it for whatever you need to do with it (mobile, apps, tablet, instore). You don;t have to get IT involved til the end if you don;t want to.
- Flexible: We build sites using Moovweb but we can often hand them over for maintenance to internal teams. So you haven't handed your mobile project over to a vendor with a black box. You can take control of the work done for you on Moovweb any time you want, assuming you have an intermediate level JS developer hanging around the place.
- Cost effective: Once you've got Moovweb going as a presentation layer above desktop, there's a lot you can do. We've built in-store experiences for customers in two weeks. We can build full ecommerce capable apps in four. We do tablet optimizations in as little as three weeks. We have a run a series of A/B tests for retailers over a six month span. After that initial investment, it's cheap to keep doing more and more.
- Proven: It helps me sleep at night knowing that the technology we are building for clients is being called upon to deliver 2 billion mobile page views a month. I don't really want cutting edge in a platform, I want reliability.
- Maintainable: We can maintain mobile for a big complex ecommerce engine like Websphere or ATG with less than 3-10 hours of work a month, even where IT teams have month-long sprints and teams of engineers changing the site constantly. Most of what IT teams do doesn't affect us - most of their work just flows through. That makes life easy either for us, or for clients who maintain it i-house, which a lot of the vanguard ecommerce players are doing nowadays with this kind of platform. We just support and consult as needed.
- They have built a scripting language, Tritium, that is a useful tool, but hasn't really caught fire among developers. It's easy to understand and use (very jquery like) and it's good for what it does. But I think some teams get confused and think that it's a whole new programming language to learn. I don't know whether it delivers enough value.
- I'd like to see them push an entry level package so they can be accessible to a broader range of ecommerce players, particularly smaller retailers.
- Better conversion rates. I haven't worked on a project where there was no improvement on conversion. Worst case I have worked on 5%, (outlier) best case +100%. That may not be the platform's doing - my team have been working in mobile UX for a long time and know what works - but the platform enables us to do what we do and improve the experience. It's a lot harder and more expensive without it.
- Better insights. Once you can experiment more you can learn what works and doesn't for customers quickly. Again, the platform isn't doing that without the help of good people knowing what to experiment with, but compared to other optimization products we've found this high powered, easy to understand, and cost effective.
- Better processes. We've been able to do much more to help clients build a rhythm of testing into their mobile and app development and support because Moovweb is pretty easy to work with.
Usablenet, Branding Brand, Skava etc. Though they are usually in the same conversations when it comes to mobile the key question to ask is whether you can ever take over your own site if you are unhappy with their services, and the answer is that you can;t. That would keep me away from them. Usablenet's reputation is for cheap upfronts and then a stream of SoWs and Change Orders every time you want to do anything. Branding Brand has an awesome customer base but if you;re not going to be one of their top 5 clients, they tend to struggle to support you. My team has worked with ex-customers of both Usablenet and Branding Brand and transitioned them to Moovweb and they are happy with the switch.
It depends on who you are. If you are very small it won't be worth the money. If you have a very cranky site with nested tables coming out of every orifice, maybe you should look at a replatform or desktop rewrite first. If you have a site with vast numbers of custom content pages, it will work but may not be cost effective.
Moovweb is well suited to you if you need the ability to control mobile experiences and respond to changes in mobile and the demands of mobile aware executives who want to move more quickly than your current IT processes allow. It is well suited if you need something quickly but also want the option to bring mobile development and support in-house some time in the next year or two (which you should). It is well suited if your desire to improve a responsive experience has been thwarted by internal fears over the impact that it might have on desktop. It is well suited if you want to experiment on mobile but do more than just change the color of a button or make a font larger. It's very good at letting a UX team try things out and see what real customers do.
- Rapid mobile implementations
- New product prototypes where content can be derived from desktop web.
- Cost effective app development using Moovweb to supply content from desktop as webview
- Tablet optimization
- A/B testing
- In-store kiosks
- We have actually used it to allow customers to get a new desktop site without altering their backend. You essentially use the desktop as a skeleton source but direct traffic to a Moovwebbed version of that desktop site. It's useful when a customer just doesn't want to touch their back end system but can't control the experience in the way they want.
- In-store kiosks. Again, we were asked to create a kiosk experience from the desktop rather than expensively develop a kiosk only experience from scratch.
- Future gadgets and devices that we don't even know about yet. If I know what they were we'd plan for them, but Moovweb at least means that we can probably rely on using desktop assets for whatever end-point we need to service for customers.
- Don't spend weeks in design. Because of the way the technology works nuances of design can change very quickly further down the line. We have changed the look of the product list for a client a week before launch.
- Push for getting the project into UAT within four weeks of the kickoff of the project. There are few retailer projects that need to take more than that. In my experience the more concentrated the timeline the more effective the implementation.
- Check that there are no major changes planned on desktop during the time of your implementation (another reason to keep the development to four weeks).
- If you have custom mobile content requirements, get them to your implementer at the start. Moovweb is great at heavy-lifting existing content, but your implementer will need to recommend solutions for custom content that will need to be tested. Get these requirements out at the start.
- Make a list of your desktop plugins. Moovweb can handle them all, but they can be handled in different ways
- If you have Paypal/Google Wallet and want it on mobile as part of your project, talk about that early on.
- Implemented in-house
- Professional services company