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Fairytale Brownies bakes convenience into mobile ordering siteBy
Fairytale Brownies has simplified the giving of gifts of its gourmet chocolate brownies by launching a mobile ordering platform.
Mobile users can order brownies by going to m.brownies.com and logging into an existing account, creating an account or making a purchase as a guest. The Phoenix-based company’s platform is the latest example of a retailer striving to streamline the checkout process for mobile customers.
“Customers expect you to keep up and with our company goal being to spread joy and simplify gift-giving through gourmet chocolate brownies, we needed and wanted to have a mobile site,” said Eileen Joy Spitalny, Fairytale Brownies’ co-founder.
“We hope for smell-o-rama, some day.”
The mobile store, which requires no customer downloading of a mobile application, is designed for on-the-go shopping and optimized for quick ordering on smaller screens, allowing easy browsing and purchasing.
A home page contains links to brownies categorized by occasion, gift type, business gifts and flavors and sizes. Clicking on an image of the product opens onto photos of various brownies with prices marked and clicking on the image opens onto the checkout function.
Retailers are under growing pressure to get up to speed on mobile.
Lauren Freedman, president of the Chicago-based e-commerce consulting firm, said retailers still have a lot of work to do in terms of providing a mobile commerce experience that will attract shoppers and increase business.
Her firm’s two-month study of 50 retailers and mobile consumer shopping habits showed that putting together a mobile commerce strategy that is both efficient and uses information to boost a customer’s transaction-making confidence is harder to do than it looks.
While mastering mobile in the age of the connected consumer tops retailers’ agenda, most are in the early stages of working toward superior online experiences.
E-tailing’s survey found that three out of four retailers see mobile as important to business, but 61 percent are just beginning to implement mobile initiatives and are striving to keep pace. Fifty-six percent said mobile plays a key role in their efforts to achieve a superior omni-channel experience.
The study’s findings reinforced the idea of mobile’s value in supporting bricks-and-mortar store operations.
“The growth in mobile, as you know, is incredible,” said Bob Berger, chief marketing officer with mShopper.com, which provided Fairytale Brownies’ mobile-commerce platform.
“It’s growing far faster than in the early days of e-commerce simply because people are now comfortable using their credit cards online. But the use of smartphones is huge.”
Pew Research statistics show that from January, more than 70 percent of adults aged 18 to 49, or 58 percent of all age groups, owned smartphones. Forty-two percent of all adults owned tablets.
Research by Pew and IDC shows that 68 percent of all mobile phones will be smartphones by 2017. Additionally, Pew found that 34 percent of adults with cell Internet access use their phones as their primary method of going online.
Forty-five percent of 18-29 year-olds already do a majority of their browsing via mobile.
“For us, as well as our clients, it’s important to think, ‘customer first,’ not ‘mobile first’ or ‘responsive web design first,’” Mr. Berger said. “We prefer to think about the use case and how people are using their phones to shop, and what we can do to make it easier. They want the experience to be fast, accurate and easy or they won’t shop with that brand again.”
“In the case of Fairytale Brownies, they wanted to be available to their customers the moment one of them thinks about sending a gift,” he said. “If they have to wait to get home, or back to the office, to get on a computer to send something, the moment is lost.”
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.
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