My Comments on the below:
I am a bit late finding this article but there you go. I find the stats really interesting. Despite the fact they offer shoes for all, I am guessing here that their main user base is made up of Women. I can instantly relate to their experience. If I look at my partner who since purchasing her an android phone (6 months ago), who by the way is a kind of techno-phoebe, has moved from a 0 to a 10 user of the mobile internet (0 being not at all and 10 being everyday more than once). However, despite this amazing change of her use of phones not once has she been bothered by apps. This is not because she is not aware or has not tried them but she is used to searching for content when she wants. She finds it easy. She already knows which sites she has interest in and what sites she would buy clothes/shoes and whatever other flavour. It is interesting as her peers also share the same thought process, yet their male counterparts and very engrossed into both mobile internet & apps. In fact the more I think about it especially apps that help them not have to think for themselves or games of course! Anyhow, before I digress, this supports the experience shoes.com has described. As women, being the main demographic (again this is an assumption) of shoes.com, they are comfortable and familiar with SEARCH (and aren’t we all, no matter our gender) hence making more purchases via the mobile site than apps. Therefore, as long as the e-commerce site is mobile optimised and the URL re-directs are in place then their customers will happily discover and purchase via the mobile internet site (as we in the industry call m-commerce, a transaction made via the mobile device).
In the early adoption days of mobile internet we saw that many publisher, media owners and e-commerce sites were receiving anywhere up to 5% of their users online coming from a mobile device. Whilst with one hand this was positive news, with the other it was bad. As the sites that were not optimised for mobile you can start to work out the potential loss of revenues and/or damage to the brand/media owner by delivering a poor user experience and/or no real payment flow. Traditional publishers and media owners quickly woke up when they saw these stats. However, the retail industry was very slow to react. It wasn’t until Steve Jobs created the iPhone and apps that they retail sector started to take the space semi-seriously. It is great to see now how retailers or e-commerce sites are starting to understand and experience this space better and as the article suggests ‘not just jumping on the app-bandwagon’.
Posted By ] Rimma Kats
Shoes.com's mobile site
SAN FRANCISCO – A Brown Shoes Co. exec at the Mobile Shopping Summit said that 85 percent of mobile purchases come from the shoes.com mobile site and not its applications, proving that retailers should focus on having a Web presence before jumping on the app bandwagon.
Panelists during the “Mobile Roadmap Part I: Key Evaluation Criteria For Developing Your Initial Mobile Platform – The Keys To Mobile Merchandizing” session discussed the challenges and success their companies face with mobile. The panel was moderated by Marci Troutman, CEO of Sitminis, Atlanta.
“We had a strong ecommerce platform,” said Pete Hogan, vice president of ecommerce at Brown Shoe Co., St. Louis. “We were seeing a lot of agencies contact us about mobile and there were few players in the game two years ago.
“Eighty-five percent of our mobile sales come from the mobile Web and not apps,” he said.
Future of mobile
According to Mr. Hogan, the company’s long-term mobile strategy will involve the use of HTML5 to provide a richer experience to consumers on their mobile devices.
For companies that are looking to develop mobile sites or apps, it is important to keep the consumer in mind and try to make the overall mobile commerce experience as seamless as possible.
“Think about your business and how many times people touch your business,” Mr. Hogan said. “If you’re Starbucks then it’s daily, if you’re McDonalds it’s weekly.
“If our customer is a registered customer, we wanted to make sure we auto filled their shipping information,” he said. “That’s where you help them save time.”
A majority of consumers who download applications to their mobile devices do not use most of them.
A mobile site is an ideal tool to capture that consumer at the point-of-sale, per the panelists.
However, companies wanting to enter the application space should make sure that their apps provide a different experience than the mobile site. A lot of the time, mobile apps are geared towards loyalists, pushing deals and alerts to them daily.
There needs to be an incentive for consumers to click on that app icon when they want to shop instead of going to the company’s mobile site.
The mobile site, on the other hand, is an access point for existing and potential customers and should be treated with that in mind.
Brown Shoe first developed a mobile site and then an iPhone application.
Currently, the company has three iPhone applications, three mobile-optimized sites and three Android apps.
According to Mr. Hogan, the company’s mobile site mimics its ecommerce site and now features personalized recommendations and ratings.
“We tried to add most of the bells and whistles,” Mr. Hogan said. “However, there are still a few missing things.
“Tracking is also important – we can see when customers are coming to our mobile properties,” he said. “The ROI is trackable.”
Dale Monson, senior vice president of operations at The Sportsman’s Guide, said that the company is currently working on a second version of its mobile site.
Although the company has a mobile presence, Mr. Monson said that it has not invested in marketing efforts to promote its applications.
“When we launched our iPhone app, we wanted to make sure we were in the market,” Mr. Monson said. “The main challenge we had was a lot of items on our Web site and it’s difficult to push that into the mobile and have consumers shop easily.
“However, we have not had a good marketing program yet to push the downloads,” he said. “We have not invested in marketing efforts for our apps.”
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.