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Rue La La exec: Prioritize mobile tactics based on core business goals

January 17, 2014

NEW YORK—A Rue La La executive at Mobile Marketer’s FirstLook: Strategy 2014 conference said that with so many exciting possibilities in mobile, brands should prioritize based on key company goals instead of chasing new fads.

During the “Rue La La: Crafting a Mobile Strategy that Works Both for Business and Consumer” session the Rue La La exec spoke about what is working for Rue La La and what the company is anticipating in 2014. One of the key concepts was cross-device shopping and creating unique experiences on each platform.

“It’s rigorous prioritization,” said Gabbi Buerman, mobile product marketing manager at Rue La La, Boston. “You have to be very strict about your KPIs and overarching objectives.

“Then as new things come in you can filter them out,” she said. “It’s easy to get caught up in fads. I mean wearables, do you invest in that right away? Do you wait and let the market leaders go first? It depends on your business. If you think it’ll drive those core funnels.

“We really think about prioritizing our road maps based on corporate goals because without that it’ll be really hard to get by.”

Mobile strategy
Rue La La jumped into mobile in 2009 with a mobile Web site and began launching apps in 2010.

The nature of Rue La La’s business naturally leads itself to mobile. A new boutique will launch on the site at 11 a.m., and if a consumer is not at a desk at that moment, she can still shop the site via mobile.

For Rue La La, the important thing is to find a unique value for each platform, so the company has mobile exclusives and different features such as the smartphone app feature “Right Now” that displays what is trending. That specific feature is only on mobile, so it creates an added value for consumers and an incentive to use the device.

According to Ms. Buerman, 90 percent of non-desktop traffic to Rue La La comes from an iPad or iPhone, and 50 percent of all traffic comes from mobile and tablet in general.  Additionally, Rue La La sees 900,000 weekly visits on average from mobile and tablet devices, and 53 percent of buyers used a mobile or tablet device in the past 12 months.

Recognizing that mobile is constantly evolving, Rue La La is always reiterating on its strategy to insure that it is balancing new technology with consumer demand and business goals.

At the end of the day, Rue La La wants consumers to visit their sites and apps frequently and convert in the easiest way possible.

Ms. Buerman

Looking to 2014, Ms. Buerman expects cross-device shopping to play an even bigger role than it already does.

“There is a serious increase in cross-channel shopping,” Ms. Buerman said. “This is OK. We’re really excited about it, but we need to account for it in our strategy and we need to think about the ways people use mobile. Think about how they involve mobile in their lives.”

Multiscreen users have been shown to be more valuable users for brands, and it is definitely in a brand’s best interest to create as many touch points as possible so that consumers can choose how they want to interact with the brand.

Rue La La wants to make sure that each device has something unique to offer, and some sort of added value for the consumer.

“It’s a privilege to be on someone’s device, be respectful of that,” Ms. Buerman said. “You want to be in their hands at all times.

“Never just sit back and relax,” she said. “Keep testing, keep optimizing, keep pushing the envelope. Failures are good and help you get to the wins faster.”

Final Take
Gabbi Buerman is mobile product marketing manager at Rue La La, Boston

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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