Mobile Shopping: Fab Updates Android App, Expects A Third Of 2012 Global Sales To Be Mobile (Updated)

Online design focused shopping site, Fab, has given its Android app its first update, more than a year on from the original app launch. The ecommerce site, which boasts more than nine million users, says mobile is an increasingly important component of its business — with almost half of its users using their phones to buy goods via the site, and approximately a third of traffic and sales coming from mobile.

Fab’s global mobile sales almost doubled in the first half of November compared to last year. For the year 2012, it expects 33 percent of global sales to come from mobile compared to 15 percent last year. Mobile sales growth is being driven by strong demand for holiday 2012 gifts, such as men’s hats and scarves, unique novelty items, technology products and gadgets — lifting sales 298 percent overall from a year ago.

“Nearly 50 percent of our members are now buying through their mobile phones,” says Fab CEO and Founder Jason Goldberg in a statement. “With that we challenged ourselves to think beyond the existing apps and to start from scratch to build something for the very mobile users.”

The new Android app has a focus on imagery, and brings a raft of new features — including

  • A live feed of activity on Fab
  • FREE SHIPPING on orders above 70 EUR/GBP
  • Login with Facebook
  • Browsing design by colour, price, and category
  • Sharing your favourite designs on Facebook, Twitter, email, and SMS — and earn credits!

The redesign looks to have brought Fab’s Android app experience in line with the overhaul of its iOS apps last month — with a clean-looking interface, and strong, bold imagery showcasing product design.

Fab notes that just five days after the launch of its iPhone and iPad apps, mobile amounted to more than 15 percent of its sales in Europe.

Update: Fab has now confirmed the app was a global release — rolling out to all its markets on Saturday, namely the U.S., Canada and 24 countries in Europe.

It also said the main differences between this version and the earlier Android app are additional search functionality, optimization for Android tablets and social features.

Boosting usage of its mobile app on the Android platform is something the company is keen to do. Fab’s CEO previously told ABC News its app usage skews heavily in favour of iOS. “We do have an Android app, but we find that only two percent of our usage is on Android,” he said last month, adding: “We wish we had more Android usage.”

As Business Insider has noted, Fab is losing out to rival shopping service Fancy on mobile. Fab’s Android app has between downloaded between 100,000 and 500,000 times on Google Play — while Fancy has had between 1 million and 5 million downloads.