What it Says It does: MarkaVIP asserts that it gives users access to the world’s most beloved brands at deeply discounted prices. The app offers more than 17,000 items on any given day for up to 85% discount off the retail price. The products range from sunglasses and handbags to abayas, luxury watches, the latest gadgets or must-have items for the home.

What it Actually does: The app lives up to its description. It is a pretty straight forward shopping app that sells luxury goods at discount prices.

Design & User Experience

The MarkaVIP app is well designed. It features the same branding as it’s companion website (markavip.com/ae) so if users are first introduced to the company online, the app is recognizable.On the initial launch, the app asks that you login or sign up. You can bypass these options and browse the online store without an account but you must be logged in to make a purchase. For the purpose of this review. I opted to create an account. I was fully prepared to use my MacBook to register because I didn’t want to fumble with it on the smaller browser screen of the iPhone 5. To my surprise, When I chose the option to create an account, I was taken to a custom registration page within the app. As  a user, I appreciated being able to handle all required transactions within the app itself.

The Account Dashboard is consistent with most shopping apps. It enables user functions like editing account information, storing billing/shipping addresses, reviewing order history and changing passwords.

I was immediately impressed with the presentation of the merchandise. Each product is photographed in lifestyle settings that truly give the user a good concept of the item. For example, the Armani Jeans White Cotton Polo listed for 217 AED, 50% of the original retail price of 437 AED, is shown on a male model. The lifestyle photos present a much better visual than seeing a shirt lying lifelessly on a white background.

As you scroll through the thousands of items for sale, you can touch the picture to be taken to a screen with additional details and more photos. The additional photos show the item from different perspectives. For example, the Armani Polo is shown from the front, back and the side. All of the order controls are touch enabled. Users can simply touch a square with the appropriate size abbreviation. The Product Detail screen has an active footer with the price, quantity and a button to “add to bag”. This design element keeps the product details and the ability to order the product on the same page which likely saves time. Once you add an item to your bag, a small review screen slides down showing the particulars of what was most recently added. Nice touch. Because, discounts sell themselves, the app was not designed to trap users into the sales process. The application allows you to review your bag easily and make adjustments at any stage of the buying process.

Although I did not make a purchase through the app, yet, the checkout process seems to be hassle free. To begin making a purchase, simply touch the shopping bag icon in the upper right hand corner. A preview of your shopping bag will appear with the subtotal and orange “checkout” button in the footer. Touch the “checkout” button and you will be redirected to the Checkout screen. On the Checkout screen I was elated to find PayPal listed among credit card and cash on delivery as a payment option.

Technical Specifications

This review is based solely on the MarkaVIP app for iOS. It was tested on an iPhone 5 running iOS version 7.0.2. At the time of publishing, MarkaVIP for iOS has the following specifications:

Seller: MARKAVIP
Category: Lifestyle
Updated: November 15, 2013
Version: 1.2
Size: 8.3 MB
Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

I tried downloading and testing the app on my 8″ Lenovo Yoga Tablet that currently runs Android 4.2 JellyBean. I received the following notice; “Your device isn’t compatible with this version”. Apparently, the app does not yet support tablet screen sizes. In the reviews, another user commented as to why he was unable to download the app on the Nexus7. The development team responded to the inquiry quickly noting that they were working on making the the app appropriate for tablets. That exchange took place on November 27, 2013.

advert-image