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Apparel retailer Moosejaw revamps mobile site

August 24, 2009

moosejawMoosejaw Mountaineering, the outdoor gear and apparel retailer known for its offbeat online marketing, has launched a new mobile version of its Web site.

Moosejaw’s new mobile service at lets shoppers use any Web-enabled phone to browse Moosejaw’s catalog, price compare, read customer reviews, view customer product photos and, Moosejaw hopes, complete the sale. Mobile commerce is becoming a priority for national retailers, but companies of all sizes have launched off-deck mobile commerce sites.

“Moosejaw launched its first mobile site simply to keep up with our customers,” said Gary Wohlfeill, creative director for Moosejaw, Madison Heights, MI. “Once we started noticing our staff viewing Web pages on their phones instead of the computer right in front of them, we knew we needed to go mobile.

“Our customer demographic is very tech-savvy and expect us to be the same,” he said.

Moosejaw launched its first mobile site in 2006. Its target demographc is outdoor enthusiasts ages 18-28.

Moosejaw is partnering on the project with Unbound Commerce, which specializes in mobile retailing, but will be bringing the mobile site maintenance in-house to its marketing department.

The brand got the word out about its mobile site with an email blast campaign, as well as campaigns on, Twitter, texting and marketing spots on

Moosejaw will feature it in our next print catalog and in signage in its shops.

 “As more and more customers acquire phones that allow for a more media and feature rich experience, we felt we have to follow suit with an updated mobile experience,” Mr. Wohlfeill said.
“When designing the smartphone-optimized mobile site we had two priorities: creating a better shopping experience for the blurred-channel customer, as well as bringing the same interaction our customers have with the ‘Madness’ in our other channels to mobile,” he said.
Moosejaw gears its marketing strategy to what it calls “the blurred-channel customer,” taking the best part of each channel and making it available across all channels, including mobile.

“Our marketing strategy is designed to break down the traditional silos of each channel to give our customers a near seamless interaction with our brand in any channel,” Mr. Wohlfeill said.
Consumers can be standing in one of Moosejaw’s shops, touching the jacket they are interested in or trying it on. At the same time they can pull out their iPhone and enter the SKU from the tag into to access product specifications and browse reviews submitted by Moosejaw customers who purchased the jacket.

Meanwhile a shop sales rep is using a multi-channel point of sale system to let consumers know if another color in their size is available.
The Moosejaw brand has launched various mobile initiatives, including text messaging, Tweets and a section on the .mobi site.

Moosejoaw reports response rates as high as 44 percent for its SMS campaigns.

Moosejaw launched the new site after beta testing the mobile version for the last 90 days.

Moosejaw has a social network community that started with traditional e-mail and has since expanded to texts, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, blogs and other online communities.

The site is specifically optimized to the richer graphical capabilities of the latest smartphones.

Moosejaw will also continue to offer a mobile experience for customers without smartphones at

Moosejaw has grown from a single retail store in Keego Harbor, MI, in 1992, into a $40 million-a-year multi-channel retailer with seven retail stores in Michigan and Illinois, mail-order catalogs, two mobile Web sites and five wired Web sites. 

Moosejaw offers products under its own Moosejaw brand, as well as leading outdoor manufacturers including The North Face, Arc’teryx, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear and Black Diamond.
Moosejaw doesn’t have a commerce piece on—yet.

“We are working to better integrate the commerce piece with the rest of our systems before turning it on,” Mr. Wohlfeill said. “Actually, our original concept for launch did not include a commerce piece at all.

“As with everything we do, it is critically important to get the brand interaction with customers right first,” he said. “We felt the access to product info, customer reviews and the ‘Madness’ interaction via mobile are the most important components in doing that.”

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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