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Top 10 mobile commerce-enabled Web sites of 2011By Giselle Tsirulnik
Retailers understand the importance of having a mobile commerce-enabled site that does more than just give store hours and locations, with functionality such as personalization, social media and SMS integration, mobile coupons and video playing a big role on the mobile Web in 2011.
Here are some noteworthy sites that have launched in 2011, in no particular order.
Men’s retailer Paul Fredrick has rolled out a mobile-optimized site that lets consumers search, browse and buy products, no matter where they are.
“Paul Fredrick’s key strategy is to provide their valuable customers with access to Paul Fredrick products anytime, anywhere from the convenience of their smartphones,” said Dan Lowden, vice president of marketing at Digby, Austin, TX.
“Paul Fredrick’s mobile-optimized Web site is sleek, easy to use and designed to allow consumers to search, browse and buy products across multiple channels,” he said.
“The mobile-optimized site empowers customers with additional product knowledge through rich product images and descriptions, product customization options, ratings and reviews and social sharing.”
Jewelry retailer Zales has rolled out a mobile commerce-enabled site that lets consumers browse and buy products from the company’s entire inventory. Consumers can access the mobile site by entering http://www.zales.com on their mobile browser. The mobile site is powered by Usablenet.
“Zales sees the mobile site as a bridge between our stores and our Web site that consumers cna use while on the go,” said Roxane Barry, director of investor relations at Zales.
“They may be standing in our own stores looking for more product information or browsing the new collections, such as Vera Wang and Jessica Simpson, while on their morning commute,” she said ”Irrespective of where they are or their immediate intent, we wanted a mobile experience that allowed our customers to quickly and easily interact with our brands.”
Bath & Body Works is showing that mobile plays an integral part in its overall strategy via an optimized site that lets new and existing consumers buy their favorite products no matter where they are.
The company rolled out the mobile site to stay on trend and keep up with the growing number of smartphone users. Branding Brand developed the mobile site for the company.
“The strategy is to provide the same rich aesthetic and functionality as the main Bath & Body Works Web site, in a mobile-optimized format,” said Jared Horowitz, chief revenue officer of Branding Brand. “This site shows that mobile doesn’t have to be dumbed down or ugly, and will still provide rich functionality across a variety of phones,” he said.
The company tapped Usablenet to power the mobile site. Consumers can access the optimized site by entering http://www.llbean.com on their mobile browser.
“We’ve dabbed our toe in mobile back in 2009 when we offered a free limited edition game,” said Laurie Brooks, senior public relations representative at L.L. Bean.
“This mobile site is really an extension of customer service. “It’s really to meet our customers where they want to shop,” she said. “We’re multichannel merchant.
“We were responding to what our customers were asking us – to have a shoppable mobile site.”
The company decided to roll out the mobile site due to the overwhelming growth of consumers turning to their smartphones to make purchases. The company tapped Usablenet to power the initiative.
“Our new mcommerce site is an extension of our in-store experience and ecommerce site,” said Eran Cohen, chief marketing officer of New York & Company, New York. “As digital technology rapidly changes, New York & Company wants to ensure that our digital strategy remains flexible and stays current.
“Our new mcommerce site is the next step in the evolution of allowing our customer access to the NY&C brand wherever, whenever she wants,” he said. “Our new mcommerce site caters to the modern woman with a life on the go.”
The company tapped Usablenet to power its mobile site. Consumers can access the site by entering m.staples.com on their mobile browser.
“We’re committed to bringing easy to your office and we see mobile as a vehicle with unlimited possibilities on how to do that,” said Brian Tilzer, vice president of ecommerce and business development at Staples. “Our customers, especially small business owners, are constantly on the go, and are looking for ways to shop when it’s convenient for them.
“They’re increasingly turning to their mobile devices for product information, store hours and locations and customer service,” he said. “Staples knows that having a robust mobile offering will make it easier for them to restock their office, so they can get back to running their business.”
The company rolled out a mobile site as part of its strategic move into mobile commerce. Brooks Brothers tapped Digby for the creation of the site.
“Brooks Brothers is known for its legendary customer service,” said Arthur Wayne, director of communications at Brooks Brothers, New York. “We feel that this service should extend outside of our stores and into the digital world.
“We know that many of our customers are shopping on our Web site from their mobile devices,” he said. “Historically this process has been a little clumsy and difficult to navigate as the Web pages aren’t optimized to a handheld device.
“A mobile site solves this issue. We offer nearly all of our products as well as many of the services and information on our website and this new platform provides an experience which is both more efficient and better suited to mobile devices.”
Hunting, fishing and outdoor gear retailer Cabela’s Inc. has launched a commerce-enabled mobile-optimized Web site to enhance its multichannel presence and drive sales.
Cabela’s tapped mobile commerce specialist Digby to create a shopping experience letting customers buy its outdoor gear and clothing via their mobile devices. Cabela’s is enabling mobile to complement its ecommerce Web site and catalogs with the goal of driving sales of its products that are sold in more than 30 stores in the United States and Canada.
“Essentially, our initial goal in our partnership with Digby was to provide mobile devices that cannot complete checkout on our standard eccomerce Web site Cabelas.com with the ability to place an order,” said Derek Fortna, Internet marketing manager at Cabela’s, Sidney, NE.
“Digby enabled us to integrate with our standard Cabelas.com checkout while requiring very little effort from our internal IT department,” he said.
BMW’s Mini Financial Services has launched a mobile Web site that lets smartphone users process payments and common account requests using their handsets.
Developed internally, the Mini Financial Services mobile Web site runs in a browser, whereas typical applications need to be installed to run on a mobile device. After a secure log-in from a smartphone, customers will have access to the six most common features: make a payment, recent activity, statements, payoff quote, payment history and account summary.
“In terms of our strategy behind the launch of the mobile site, I can boil it down to one word: convenience—it is all about giving more options to our customers,” said Tom Stepanchak, general marketing manager for BMW Group Financial Services, Woodcliff Lake, NJ. “2013 is the tipping point where more consumers will use smartphones to access their Internet than PCs.
“Fifteen years ago before the Internet was anything, people had to write checks and send them to us, then people could pay online, and this is another step in that evolution,” he said. “We knew that we had to provide this mobile functionality.
“We know it is only a matter of time before our customers expect this type of functionality on their smartphones.”
Users can shop women’s apparel, children’s clothing and home décor. The mobile-optimized site was built and is powered by Usablenet.
“As smartphone adoption continues to grow significantly and mobile users become increasingly mcommerce savvy, it is necessary for retailers to have a mobile presence that extends full ecommerce,” said Nick Taylor, president of Usablenet, New York.
“Usablenet supports Garnet Hill in keeping up with the demands of their customer base by creating a new powerful channel for their customers to connect with them in the most convenient way possible,” he said.
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