IRCE: Launch Your Mobile Commerce Site First, Then an App
Develop, test and launch a mobile website first, then take a look at what a mobile application could do for your brand, advised Ryan Abood, CEO of GourmetGiftBaskets.com, who spoke at a session titled Getting Your Arms Around Mobile Apps yesterday at the 2011 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.
Abood laid out his company's journey from launching a mobile site to a mobile app. In summer of 2010, Abood noticed that more and more customers were complaining about not being able to purchase GourmetGiftBaskets.com's products with their Android phones or that their iPhones were having trouble with the payment page. It's then that Abood decided it was time for GourmetGiftBaskets.com to enter the mobile waters.
Abood developed a plan that involved launching a mobile commerce site first, measuring its success and then - depending on the results - deploying a tailored mobile app.
A few months after the launch of GourmetGiftBaskets.com's mobile site in November of last year, Abood learned that mobile was accounting for 1 percent of the company's total sales.
"Our first thought was, 'Is 1 percent a failure? Is it a success? Is it a disappointment?,' recalled Abood. "But after learning that mobile makes up 3 percent of total sales for large and mature retailers, we thought 1 percent wasn't so bad." By May 2011, mobile sales were accounting for nearly 3 percent of GourmetGiftBaskets.com's total sales.
What drove the growth?
"Time and awareness," Abood said. "We drove home the message that we had a mobile site to all of our customers. We mentioned it on every email we sent and at every point of contact we had with them."
After reaching the 3 percent threshold, Abood decided GourmetGiftBaskets.com was ready for a moble app. The company's first mobile app was launched this year.
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