“Last holiday, retailer mobile conversion rates hovered around .77 percent,” Mr. Rahimi said. “As of July, this number is already at .85 percent. “Mobile devices are getting better, and consumers are getting used to using them for shopping,” he said. “In addition, the more clients nurture their mobile site, the more conversion increases.”
Branding Brand, the largest mobile commerce platform to major retailers, today announced that it has secured $9.5 million in Series B funding led by existing investor Insight Venture Partners. The round also includes repeat investment from CrunchFund and Lead Edge Capital, along with new participation from eBay Enterprise. This brings the company's total funding up to $17 million.
“Customers are going to use their phones whether or not a retailer wants them to, so brands have to recognize this evolution in consumer behavior and adapt,” said Mason. “Retailers should not be afraid of having customers use their smartphones. They should encourage it.”
The shift from desktop to mobile shopping continues unabated, new research shows. From June 2012 to June 2013, the percentage of web sales from smartphones at 18 retailer clients of mobile commerce technology provider Branding Brand increased 76.9% from 2.6% to 4.6%, the vendor reports. The percentage of web sales from tablets increased 42.8% from 9.1% to 13.0%. And the percentage of web sales from non-mobile computers decreased 6.7% from 88.3% to 82.4%.
Take a look at Branding Brand's report for more stats and information. It's loaded with good stuff.
Like Sephora, Vitacost.com Inc. wanted to dazzle its customers on iPads. But the vitamins, supplements and food e-retailer took a decidedly different path: Rather than build an app it created a standalone web site just for iPad users, Discover.Vitacost.com.
“While workarounds and layered solutions are possible, at a certain point, retailers have to commit to revisioning their in-store experience from a mobile-integrated perspective,” said Chris Mason, co-founder/CEO of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh. “Retailers will be judged more and more on their ability to provide a mobile-ready experience,” he said.
"Everyone likes to talk about responsive design, but the end of the day, it’s about responsive data. How can we collect and configure information in unique, contextually-relevant ways?" said Mason.
PayPal and Branding Brand developed a mobile study, which included four large merchants across consumer packaged goods, electronics, and the footwear/apparel verticals and measured approximately 400,000 visitors between December 2012 and March 2013.
Jeff Hennion, president of Branding Brand, a company that puts mobile strategies in place for retailers, was CMO of Dick’s Sporting Goods and GNC before leaving the latter eight months ago to help organizations like Costco, Crate & Barrel, Sephora, American Eagle, Nasty Gal and Rent the Runway optimize mobile versions of their Web sites and check out on tablets, create mobile apps, and enhance in-store and marketing solutions.
Branding Brand has been able to grow along with the mobile market. The firm, which started as an interactive marketing agency, has found a niche in the mobile space creating mobile commerce sites for big brands including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sephora and Costco.
The app was developed in partnership with Branding Brand. The iPad app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store.
Branding Brand, the leading mobile commerce platform to major retailers, today released the results of its Mobile Commerce Index for May 2013. The complete report, along with accompanying images, is available at http://www.brandingbrand.com/data.
Branding Brand, the leading mobile commerce platform to top retailers, today announced that John DiSarlo has joined the Company as Vice President, Business Development. DiSarlo was previously the Senior National Sales Leader at V.me by Visa, where he was responsible for growing the company's mobile payment business. From 2007 to 2010, he was Director of Sales at PayPal.
Only three vendors have at least 10 Top 500 clients: Branding Brand, which has 38 Top 500 retailers; Usablenet, with 12; and Unbound Commerce, with 11.
Branding Brand, the leading mobile commerce platform to major retailers, today announced that Bibhash Das has joined the Company as Vice President, Client Services. Das previously served as Senior Director, Account Management, Americas, at Adobe.
Hilton Worldwide gives you a way to not only enjoy a wonderful hotel stay but also make it a whole lot easier to book and plan. This app is absolutely filled with travel planning tools for members to take advantage of. Traveling should be stress-free and this app makes sure that is actually the case.
Branding Brand, a leading mobile commerce platform for retailers, has released the results of its latest Mobile Commerce Index report.
Branding Brand execs tell me that this is the beginning of a regular tracking index so this will be interesting to watch evolve over time.
The Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index is a compilation of mobile sites developed by Branding Brand for retailers across a variety of industries including apparel, health and beauty, and home goods. The Index is the largest collection of data on commerce sites specifically designed for smartphones, as opposed to non-optimized desktop sites with mobile traffic.
"Our numbers show that 30 percent of total e-commerce traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand co-founder and CEO. "Every month, we're arming ourselves with additional insight. This is more than the future of mobile; it's the future of commerce."
According to new data from Branding Brand, which develops mobile commerce sites and apps for many leading brands, mobile visits as a share of total visits reached 30.94 percent in April.
New data from Internet Retailer reveals that, for the second year in a row, Branding Brand powers more Top 500 retailers than any other mobile commerce vendor. According to top500guide.com, three times as many retailers use the company's platform, as compared to the second-place provider.
Christina Koshzow, Chris Mason & Joey Rahimi, Co-founders, Branding Brand
Branding Brand reports that Kindle Fire visits in April were up 110 percent compared to December 2012. Post-holiday conversion is also creeping up, with the Kindle Fire experiencing 12 percent increases every month since January 2013. However, the iPad accounts for nearly 97 percent of all tablet traffic and 99 percent of all tablet revenue.
“This new site seamlessly extends the Kate Spade Saturday experience to mobile users in a way that’s fun and on-brand,” said Chris Mason, co-founder/CEO of Branding Brand.
Branding Brand announced today that its Crate & Barrel Wedding & Gift Registry App has been nominated for Best Shopping Mobile App in the 17th Annual Webby Awards. Hailed as the "Internet's highest honor" by The New York Times, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.
They purchase twice as much and twice as frequently as typical customers.
“For many clients, tablet users spend more money than desktop or smartphone users,” said Chris Mason, co-founder/CEO of Branding Brand. “In addition to average order value, the peak times and items purchased are also different,” he said. “Retailers who provide tablet-specific experiences are being rewarded for catering to these unique use-cases. On average, tablet-optimized sites increase conversion an additional 10 percent.”
Introducing a little serendipity into the buying process makes a lot of sense when you’re selling 40,000+ different products but what’s interesting is that Vitacost sees tablets as the place to do this.
A mobile app is a smart move for Dean & Deluca. Nowadays, a majority of consumers do their shopping while on the go. Therefore, having a mobile-optimized presence is optimal. And, an iPhone app is a good start.
Through a new partnership with Branding Brand — which builds mobile apps for the likes of American Eagle Outfitters, Costco and Crate & Barrel – it hopes to embed Venmo Touch in some pretty high-volume retail apps.
Joey Rahimi, co-founder and chief information officer at Branding Brand, Pittsburgh, PA, recommends giving each form factor its own goals and benchmarks. This means placing smartphones in one bucket, small tablets – 8 inches and below - in another and large tablets such as the iPad in another.
It's just the right blend of practical and fun-- shoppers can search for the shoe they want and see the store nearest them that has their size in stock, or they can showcase their wish lists or new buys in a virtual shoe closet.
She stressed that the goal is for mobile to mirror the in-store experience. Features such as added product ratings and reviews are available so shoppers can look up such information while they are in the store....
“Branding Brand’s January 2013 numbers show that tablet users are spending 13 percent more than smartphone users,” Mr. Rahimi. “This month, the average order size on tablets was $107, compared to $94 on smartphones.
Branding Brand congratulates Kate Spade on 20 beautiful years in the February 4 issue of Women's Wear Daily.
Mobile has become an essential shopping tool for consumers. In fact, during the 2012 holiday season, 80% of smartphone and tablet users tapped their devices to browse and buy inventory, according to research from Google. To keep pace with these mobile behaviors, retailers must strive to create more seamless experiences across digital and physical channels.
Couch commerce will thrive this year as tablets become increasingly affordable and accessible to the public, per Joey Rahimi, counder/chief information officer of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh, PA.
“Mobile is unleashing convenient commerce and enabling consumers to purchase how and when they want whether on a phone or in a store,” said Christina Koshzow, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Branding Brand, Pittsburgh, PA.
According to new figures released today from mobile commerce startup Branding Brand, mobile commerce over the 2012 holiday season saw major gains, with visits to m-commerce websites up 109 percent year-over-year, page views up by 116 percent, conversions up 30 percent, and sales up by a whopping 171 percent.
Performance data on all Branding Brand platform offerings, including apps and tablet sites...
Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform used by major retailers, today announced the results of its Mobile Commerce Index for Holiday 2012, which showed substantial increases in consumers shopping on smartphones. The analysis spanned a 35-day period, from the day before Thanksgiving through and including Christmas Day.
Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform used by major retailers today announced the results of its Mobile
Commerce Index for Black Friday, which showed substantial increases in
consumers shopping on smartphones. This announcement follows yesterday’s Mobile Commerce Index for Thanksgiving Day, which showed a 221% year-over-year increase in Thanksgiving mobile sales....
Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform used by major retailers today announced the results of its Mobile Commerce Index for Thanksgiving Day, which showed substantial increases in consumers shopping on smartphones....
“You need to support your app with marketing on catalogs and mailings, email announcements, your main site and in-store,” said Chris Mason, co-founder/CEO of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh.
“The best way to avoid deletion is to make sure your app is not worth removing,” he said. “Building an app that truly services loyal customers and automatically updates are the two fundamentals to success.”
Branding Brand grew in four years from a startup interactive marketing agency to an authority in building mobile shopping websites and apps, then studying traffic and using the results to rev up sales.
"When it started out, a lot of people had the idea you had to dumb down mobile," said Christina Koshzow, another co-founder and the company's chief marketing officer. Websites brought up on smartphones could be hard to read, hard to operate within the small screen and no match for the experience in the store.
People now expect their phones to be able to track orders, check balances and scroll through merchandise as easily as their personal computer might.
Consumers can use the site to conduct research, read reviews and purchase all products available on the Ace Hardware e-commerce site. The retailer developed the mobile site with m-commerce technology provider Branding Brand.
“In 2013, many of our clients will see more Internet traffic coming from mobile devices than desktop computers," said Chris Mason, a co-founder and the CEO of Branding Brand. “There is unprecedented opportunity in front of us, and we’re ready to take things to the next level."
Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform used by major retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Costco, Ralph Lauren, and Sephora, today announced that Jeffrey R. Hennion has joined the Company as President. Hennion previously served as the executive vice president, chief marketing officer and e-commerce at General Nutrition Centers, Inc. with responsibility for managing the company's global marketing and e-commerce functions.
With several major retailers as clients – including American Eagle Outfitters, Costco, Ralph Lauren, and Sephora – Branding Brand is already one of the leading mobile commerce platforms. The news comes as Internet traffic to retailers’ sites continues to grow, with many now seeing over 10 percent – and in some cases up to 50 percent – of their traffic coming from smartphones and tablets.
The mobile platform provider has named Jeffrey R. Hennion president. Hennion has led e-commerce operations at General Nutrition Centers and Dick's Sporting Goods. Branding Brand also has secured $7.5 million in venture funding.
“Passbook is a market-defining way to drive customer engagement,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand. “Those who have it will excel and those who don’t will find themselves providing less convenience to to their customers than their competitors."
“Passbook is the only system currently in place with the critical mass and simplicity to connect online and offline,” he said. “All of this is headed straight to the in-store experience. Passbook can provide swift, convenient methods of redemption for loyalty programs and buy-online-pickup-in-store experiences. This is the new email for the iOS user."
Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform used by major retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Costco, Ralph Lauren, and Sephora, today announced that it has secured $7.5 million in Series A funding led by Insight Venture Partners, with CrunchFund and Eastern Advisors also participating. Branding Brand will use the investment to scale customer acquisition, technology development, and operations.
The people at Branding Brand have one of the coolest gigs we’ve ever heard about. This team helps create apps and websites for mobile phones for some of our fave companies (including Ralph Lauren, Crate and Barrel and Sephora)! If you work at a tech company or are looking for the right thing to wear during your work week, you’re going to be inspired.
“Last year, we were all still in the experimental phase, so many tablet experiences focused simply on getting something launched,” said Chris Mason, CEO of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh, PA. “This year, there is more of a focus on creating a fluid transactional experience on tablets and mobile devices in general.
Branding Brand, who developed Sephora’s mobile offerings, believes that Apple’s Passbook is the new email.
“Only now you can track redemption all the way into stores,” said Chris Mason, cofounder and CEO of Branding Brand.
During the first five days of Passbook’s launch, Sephora’s iPhone app was downloaded 300,000 times and the number of Beauty Insider accounts created via mobile increased dramatically, Bornstein says. “More than 75,000 Beauty Insider cards have been added to Passbook and we expect the number of cards added to Passbook to increase as more consumers get their hands on the new iPhone5 and download iOS6,” she says.
Sephora worked with m-commerce technology provider Branding Brand on the Passbook integration.
How popular is Apple’s Passbook, the new iOS 6 application that lets you store tickets, cards, and coupons in a mobile wallet-like interface? According to some early data from Branding Brand, the company that built the app for cosmetics and skin care brand Sephora, Passbook adoption is booming.
"When it comes to mobile commerce sites, retailers often inherit infrastructure," said Chris Mason, co-founder and CEO of Branding Brand. "Our platform's ability to replace these building blocks with third-party modules means that you don't have to keep the old checkout your site was born with."
“The QR code black hole,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand. “Although QR codes are trendy, and effective when used properly, consumers are being conditioned to ignore them.
“Branding Brand is steadily increasing our international presence,” he said. “We currently work with brands in 6 of the top 8 mobile user markets, including Japan, UK, U.S., Canada, France, and Germany,” he said.
“Our data shows that clients with fewer steps in their checkout process experience significantly higher funnel conversion rates,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand.
“We are very proud to add Spanx to our portfolio of clients,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand. “Although we have worked with many fashion and luxury brands, this was our first undergarment line.
“Retailing intimates poses many challenges with regard to overall design,” he said. “We are very proud of the creative thinking and client collaboration this site represents.
"We're fast, nimble, and our technology is unmatched," said Mason. "We're building the mobile railroad with our clients. It's about to get interesting."
The technology behind Color IQ is advanced, but the concept is simple: a handheld device allows Sephora makeup artists to digitally scan various spots on a customer's face, resulting in 27 images in less than two seconds. The color capture technology then assigns each person a Pantone skin-tone number, which when entered into the coinciding iPad app, brings up a list of foundations — of the more than 1,000 Sephora sells — that are the closest match for the customer's skin tone.
“These apps increase convenience by providing a bridge between online and offline worlds,” says Branding Brand co-founder and CEO Chris Mason. “Although tasks like refilling prescriptions, printing photos and creating shopping lists can now begin on mobile, they still end in in-store.”
The top five performing mobile Web sites are American Eagle Outfitters with a score of 87, Sephora with 84.5, Crate and Barrel with 84, Nordstrom with 83.75 and REI with 83.
American Eagle Outfitters is proving that mobile plays an integral role in driving sales by rolling out a new iPad application that lets consumers shop the latest trends.
In addition to an iPad application, AE also has an iPhone and Android app, as well as a mobile-optimized site. The mobile apps are developed by Branding Brand.
There is nothing more frustrating than a well-thought-out campaign that lacks a proper execution.
“If they're scanning the code, they're on their phone,” Mr. Mason said. “You'd be surprised how many QR codes take people to a desktop site.”
Branding Brand today announced the launch of its new Costco smartphone
apps for iPhone and Android.
Costco is making a bigger push into mobile with a new iPhone and Android application that lets consumers shop its inventory.
The company worked with Branding Brand on the mobile initiative. The app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
The future is mobile. To survive we need an effective tool that connects us with the consumer revolution. In other words, a mobile phone, says Branding Brand CEO Chris Mason.
“Black is always in style, it just has to be used for the right context and in the right amounts,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand.
“Yes, mobile is the new black,” he said. “Moving forward, it should always be considered as part of your marketing strategy – although, more often than not, people are using it as a panacea.
“Mobile has to be situation – and context-relevant more than any other part of your solution set.”
In early May, Costco – the country’s largest retailer after Wal-Mart – announced it was beginning to build a mobile presence to rival its other big-box competitors. Today, Costco, which does about $2 billion in sales a year, launched a mobile app available for both iOS and Android.
Currently, Costco.com ranks 17th among online retailers, and its own neighbor in Seattle – Amazon – ranks first. Wal-Mart, which is more similar to Costco with a brick-and-mortar experience in addition to an online store, ranks fourth online — and both are growing faster than Costco, according to the trade publication Internet Retailer.
Sephora is one of the brands that’s leading the way in shaping digital experiences for its customers. The company recently invested in an entirely new shopping experience that integrates mobile, social and in-store activity. On this episode of Revolution, Julie Bornstein, SVP Digital at Sephora, shares with us the importance of delivering a holistic digital and “IRL” experience, while also enhancing the individual path each customer takes to engage with the brand and their favorite products.
“Having a mobile site is no longer about being cutting-edge; it’s about meeting customer expectations,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh.
“There is a new breed of power consumers who live by the philosophy of anytime accessibility,” he said. “This audience is on the go, always connected, and they expect the same from their brands. Whenever you can increase customer convenience and revenue, it’s a win.
“Traffic to Branding Brand mobile sites is up 31 percent since January 2012, and revenue is up 46 percent. Whether it’s in-store, in advertising, or in general, mobile is no longer its own separate box. Mobile commerce, as it’s traditionally known, is quickly evolving into commerce, period.”
Crate and Barrel has added a new mobile application to its repertoire that aims to increase the company’s in-store traffic, as well as accommodate consumers who are looking to manage their wedding and gift registry. The Wedding & Gift registry iPhone app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store. The app was developed by Branding Brand.
“This app provides a great example of how mobile can be used in-store,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh. “Digitizing the traditional registry allows Crate & Barrel to offer their audience a seamless experience whether they’re on the showroom floor or laying in bed,” he said.
TigerDirect is logging a 63% increase in mobile conversions since it launched a new mobile site last September.
TigerDirect, which sells computer goods, had an old mobile site, which was built by Velocitude, now a subsidiary of Akamai Technologies, Inc., but it was not generating much mobile sales, says Lonny Paul, vice president of marketing and strategic initiatives at Systemax, Inc., No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide parent company of TigerDirect, CompUSA and Circuit City. So he chose a new e-commerce technology vendor, Branding Brand....
In another effort to bridge its offline and online shopping experiences, Sephora introduced an in-store iOS initiative. The company has brought in iPod Touch devices to speed up the checkout process for consumers. Furthermore, Sephora is testing the use of iPads in multiple stores to allow consumers to interact with its menu of services, which includes the option of emailing instructions for certain makeup techniques.
“It’s a mix of, I would say, bringing great information to the consumer and also just making the shopping experience a little more seamless,” said Bornstein.
Chris Mason, co-founder and CEO of Branding Brand notes that, "Even though Lamps Plus is a West Coast brand from a brick-and-mortar standpoint, their number-one city for mobile traffic and sales is New York. Retailers need to be where their customers are, and Lamps Plus realizes this. We are proud to connect their consumers across the country in a way that is seamless and convenient."
More Internet Retailer Top 500 clients are powered by Branding Brand than any other mobile commerce vendor, according to new data available online at top500guide.com.
"We always said we're the fastest-growing mobile commerce platform; now, we're also the largest," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand's co-founder and CEO. "We are proud to have twice as many Top 500 clients as other vendors in the space."
Last year, Branding Brand experienced a 140 percent increase in live-site growth, as well as a 55 percent increase in client count. Year-over-year mobile pageviews increased by over 360 percent, and mobile visits increased by over 385 percent.
“Social has always been integral to mobile, ever since phones were only used for talking,” Mr. Mason said.
...In addition to changing the social space for the better, Pinterest is also changing the mobile shopper....
Consumers are constantly on their mobile devices and by adding Pin It functionality to many of their efforts, brands and retailers are letting consumers buy their favorite products by tapping on the Pin It button.
For example, Sephora now has Pin It buttons on every of its product pages that lets users pin any of the 14,000 products from the company’s site.
A new study of the Internet Retailer Top 500 e-retailers suggests the answer is yes.
Of 49.6 billion visits to the top 500 e-retailers in 2014, 26.4 billion, or 53.2%, will stem from smartphones, predicts mobile commerce technology vendor Branding Brand in a new study. There will be 41.0 billion visits to the top 500 e-commerce sites this year, 10.1 billion, or 24.6%, coming from smartphones, the study predicts.
"Pinterest is a better mousetrap for those that like to socially share products," said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand. "It puts items front-and-center for admiration and the creation of lookbooks.
"In some ways, using Facebook Like is too generic compared to Pinterest’s ability to solve this specific use-case," he said. "We find that in mobile, there are many shoppers who are simply there to 'window shop,' and Pinterest does a good job of embracing that."
"The actual shopping is where it gets tricky. If an item’s original source or store is not mobilized, the experience can easily get lost when a shopper is referred over to that environment," Mr. Mason said.
“Our strategy is to go to our customers, wherever they are and however they want to shop,” said Jeff Hennion, chief marketing officer and ecommerce at GNC, New York.
“In addition, our customers spend a substantial amount of time researching our products, so getting customers the tools to research products, track their regimens and find any of our 5,000 U.S. locations is very important to us,” he said....
Branding Brand powers GNC’s mobile app.
"The idea is to provide a seamless brand experience that bridges the online/offline gap by using mobile devices. Sephora is an innovator in the mobile space, and this effort helps to secure its position as a leader," said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand.
"Sephora provides a clear example of how mobile can enrich shopping experiences across the board," he said. "Rather than sitting around worrying about the death of retail, brands should be asking themselves, 'how can I use these devices to bring my in-store experience to the next level?'" he said.
Beauty products retailer Sephora USA Inc. showed several new looks today, as it rolled out a new mobile site, revamped iPhone and iPad apps, and an updated e-commerce site with advanced social features.... Most of the upgrades were done in-house, with support from outside firms including mobile commerce developer Branding Brand, Bornstein says.
The main menu of the m-commerce app, built by mobile technology vendor Branding Brand, is now organized with nine, large, thumb-friendly buttons designed to get shoppers quickly to the products or information they seek. Buttons include Shop, Scan, Deal of the Day, Ratings & Reviews, Gold Card, Reminders, GNC Way, Health Center and Clearance. A site search box sits atop the buttons.
Unlike other stores that flinch when consumers pull out their phones, fearing that they are scanning bar codes to compare prices, the beauty supply company is embracing the practice.
...the company has seen a 300 percent increase over the past year in mobile shopping on its website.... iPad traffic to Sephora.com is up 400 percent in the first quarter over the same period last year, and 20 percent of all of the traffic to the site comes from mobile devices.
Lots of retailers are hesitant to bridge the online and offline world, Sephora Direct’s senior vice president Julie Bornstein tells Forbes. Instead, she says Sephora’s embracing it as a way to connect with customers on the devices they use most and keep them engaged and informed of trends.
The company has perfected its in-store app-powered scanning capabilities as well--its iPhone and iPad apps pull up pricing, stock, and reviews.
Digital is a huge part of Sephora’s business. The company has seen a 300% increase over the past year in mobile shopping on its website, with 70% of its mobile traffic coming from iOS devices. iPad traffic to Sephora.com is up 400% in Q1 of 2012 over the same period last year, and 20% of all of the traffic to the site comes from mobile devices.
Sephora today rolled out what it’s calling a "social and mobile makeover." The updates include a newly overhauled website with ultra specific search functionality, spruced up mobile web and iOS app, and a commitment to install iPads in more than 100 of its physical stores this year....
Young men’s and women’s retailer American Eagle Outfitters has come out on top in a global omni-channel fashion survey, doing particularly well in online purchase cycle, mobile and social....
“Mobile sites are quickly evolving from nice-to-haves into must-haves,” said Christina Koshzow, cofounder/chief marketing officer of Branding Brand, Pittsburgh, PA.
I am amazed at how really usable the mobiles sites are for making purchases and finding information. It’s far better than a lot of mobile sites that I have tried to use and left in frustration.
The iPads come with a custom Sephora app installed and give a buyer access to information such as whether a lotion gave anyone with a certain skin type a rash.
“Sephora and eBay both come to mind as marketers who really embrace mobile across multiple tactics,” said Erin O’Neil Schultz, head of industry, retail, at Google, Mountain View, CA.
She calls mobile the bridge between a rich e-commerce and in-store experience, a tool that can enrich the brick-and-mortar component to the retail equation. “[We’re] creating an ecosystem that works together to ease the consumer’s shopping experience.
Released late last year, American Eagle's latest mobile app hits the usual checklist of features. It's integrated with the loyalty program, so customers can look up their points. It displays the latest catalog of merchandise. It lets customers scan barcodes to add those items to their wish list. It also delivers special offers and promotions, and is commerce enabled, so customers can buy from their phone. Oh, and it also lets customers upload pictures to Facebook so friends can weigh in on the new threads.
Sephora uses the iPad 2's forward-facing camera to give shoppers assistance with makeup. Benefit Cosmetics uses tablets to provide billboard-like messaging in stores.
Ralph Lauren has used mobile as a way to bridge online commerce with in-store experiences, allowing the luxury brand to pave the way with today's modern and affluent consumers.
Sephora leads in mobile competence on a new ranking from digital innovation think tank L2 of 100 prestige brands. Brands across several industries were reviewed and measured based on their mobile Web sites, mobile apps, mobile marketing as well as innovation and integration.
Despite the broad admonitions, there were some standouts in the index. Beauty retailer Sephora nabbed the top spot, thanks to its robust mobile site, and apps for iPhone and iPad devices. All three feature a rich, browsable library of how-to and inspirational video content, as well tools for online and in-store shopping. The iPhone app also features a barcode scanner and interactive tool that allows users to sample various hues of nail polish.
Sephora has secured the top spot in L2's first-ever Prestige 100 Mobile IQ report. The ranking measures the mobile competence of 100 iconic prestige brands across five industries.
Some retailers, such as American Eagle Outfitters Inc., No. 102 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300, used QR codes to prompt consumers to download the merchants' iPhone or Android apps.
Retailer American Eagle Outfitters has rolled out an iPhone application that lets fashion-savvy consumers shop the latest looks and get exclusive deals via their mobile device. In addition to a mobile app, the company also has a mobile-optimized site.
American Eagle launched its AE mobile app to woo online shoppers.
Mobile commerce sales at American Eagle Outfitters have more than tripled since last year, and the retailer is gaining added value by using mobility to strategically support its other channels, including its brick-and-mortar stores.
Sephora USA Inc.'s iPad app offers a feature impossible to duplicate on a conventional e-commerce site. The consumer activates Sephora's "mirror" feature, which uses the tablet's front-facing camera to show the consumer on the screen in one window, while in a window below she can watch a video of an expert applying makeup. The app, built by Branding Brand...
Branding Brand has worked with Timberland and—earlier this year—GNC to turn their mobile visions into reality. Before GNC optimized their mobile website, 10 to 15 percent of their e-commerce traffic came from mobile. Since launching it this summer, there are twice as many visitors using search, and mobile search conversions are up 50 percent.
Branding Brand [is] a leader in the mobile commerce space who works with large multi-channel retailers to develop mobile and social commerce applications.
Branding Brand is a young, very nimble company with incredible technology," Paul says. "The unique thing about the company is they can combine their content management system with the data from the e-commerce site that they use to create the m-commerce site and store it all in a portfolio that can be used for other things."
"We are excited to be recognized by such an authoritative source," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand's co-founder and two-time entrepreneur. "We have the best technology, the best team, and a proven track-record of constant innovation. We're young, hungry, and tireless."
Branding Brand received the most "strong competency" ratings out of the 14 solution providers, with high marks in mobile web, Facebook, catalog and search, product discovery, shopping experience, multichannel tools, purchase/checkout, development tools, and integration tools.
The in-store app lets consumers learn more about in-store offerings, search products and see what's new. Consumers can also browse and view ratings and reviews to see what other shoppers think of the products. Benefit worked with Branding Brand on the in-store iPad app.
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.
Sephora North America has debuted a fully integrated commerce-enabled iPad app that lets consumers shop its beauty products in a magazine-like format. Branding Brand developed the app for Sephora.
"This social shopping app streamlines content and commerce in one living, interactive place," says Nitin Mittal, managing partner at Branding Brand. "Leveraging HTML5, users can seamlessly engage with the app to add a new dimension to the catalog experience."
"PayPal Mobile Express speeds up the purchasing process on mobile," Mr. Horowitz said. "This means fewer page loads and less information to type--two huge factors when shopping from a phone."
Many companies are finding that allowing outside experts at mobile optimization (e.g., Branding Brand...) to manage one's mobile presence is a much more tenable approach.
Each new, 8G iPod Touch contains icons that link to a sampling of Branding Brand's clients. Over the last year, the company has launched over 1000 mobile commerce sites and apps, including work for Anthropologie, Bath & Body Works, GNC, Sephora, Steve Madden, and Vitamin Shoppe.
"Exactly one half of our 52 clients have signed on for two or more integrations," said Chris Mason, co-founder of Branding Brand. "This means that in addition to a mobile site, retailers are also investing in apps, tablet sites, or Facebook commerce."
Because they hasten the purchasing process in a setting where speedy checkout is key, alternative payments have the potential to boost mobile conversion rates, some experts say. That is the goal of Branding Brand, which has begun integrating the PayPal mobile payment mechanism with a variety of clients, GNC being the first out of the gate.
"Our technology makes it easy to automatically bring PayPal Express Checkout into mobile; and up until this point, nobody thought it was possible," says Chris Mason, co-founder of Branding Brand. "For those with PayPal Express Checkout on their e-commerce site, this is a game-changer for increased mobile conversion."
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and GNC Holdings have invited customers to spend money by shopping on company fan pages without ever leaving Facebook.
Members and non-members can now log onto JustFab.com from wherever they are with their smartphone. While non-members can sign up for the innovative service from their mobile devices, existing members can also manage their account, invite friends to join, rate their newest purchases and share their personalized boutiques on Facebook.
General Nutrition Centers Inc., aka GNC, uses push notifications in an ingenious manner. It's created a system within its mobile app that customers can program to remind them when to take the supplements and vitamins they've purchased.
Webinar by Joey Rahimi. A highly functional mobile site and uninterrupted service are key to today's online success. During this live web seminar, industry experts will discuss strategies for your mobile site and how you can take steps to deliver a positive mobile web experience to your customers.
In launching a mobile commerce site, General Nutrition Centers Inc., aka GNC, wanted to stand out from the crowd, by offering features and functions other retailers weren't. Its m-commerce technology provider, Branding Brand, had an idea: What if it integrated Google Inc.'s Google Commerce Search service, which offers some unique functionality, with its own mobile commerce platform?
Branding Brand provides the web retailing functionality for about 1,000 web sites, including those operated by college bookstores, says company co-founder Joey Rahimi.
Bailey Vincent Clark, a 24-year-old writer and mother in Staunton, Va., shops on her phone for convenience, regularly buying Bare Escentuals makeup on Sephora's optimized mobile site because she can do it from anywhere, and quickly.
"Mobile traffic is climbing at an extremely rapid pace, and user expectations are increasing as well," says Joey Rahimi, co-founder of Branding Brand. "Shoppers want mobile sites that deliver rich functionality and features, and at the same time, they want them to load quickly."
Branding Brand, which has 45 clients, is seeing more and more of its customers coming in looking for QR code campaigns, which can fit in easily with a client's existing mobile website, Mason said.
"The velocity of smartphone adoption has made the mobile channel increasingly important for retailers. GNC wanted a flexible solution that would provide the best in e-commerce search while allowing us to develop a unique mobile experience."
"It is an honor to earn the Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant title, especially with our focus on mobile commerce," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand's co-founder. "We always strive to be at the forefront of mobile/social development, and Facebook is an important part of the equation. Today, mobile is social, and social is mobile; you can no longer separate the two."
"When brands don't have a mobile site, they are ignoring this entire audience that is already trying to interact with them," Mr. Mason said. "Having a mobile site is like opening another door to your business."
All of the sites were built by m-commerce technology provider Branding Brand.
GNC is using the mobile medium to advance its multichhanel retail support strategy to provide customers access to its health and nutrition-related products wherever and whenever. Both the mobile app and the site were created by Branding Brand.
Drugstore.com Inc., an online retailer of healthy, beauty and vision products, says it expects annual revenue of at least $750 million in 2013, with mobile and social media helping the company get there.
The app, built by m-commerce technology vendor Branding Brand, complements the m-commerce site the retailer launched in December. GNC's mobile site was also built by Branding Brand.
Branding Brand Managing Director Chris Mason cited a digital trend rather than a specific spot.
Branding Brand today announced that Jeffrey R. Hennion has joined the Company as a member of its Board of Advisors.
Branding Brand has developed a "Find in Stores" widget that, for the first time, lets retailers repurpose Google Local Availability data feed for use on their own mobile sites.
Now you can show the world how much you love Sephora while you’re shopping at Sephora on your iPhone!
"Although BlackBerry has been dominant for a long time in smartphones, it has not been the dominant platform when it comes to mobile traffic to retail sites," says Christopher Mason, managing director at Branding Brand....
"What marks Steve Madden's mobile efforts from its competitors' pushes is the attention to customer ease across all digital media - online and mobile meld seamlessly to create a shopping experience that is friendly and a credit to the footwear brand"....
"It really starts off our sites - enabling our site features and functionality across mobile devices and platforms. We are working with a company called Branding Brand to develop device agnostic sites that allow users to access our sites on their terms."
Branding Brand built the new app as well as the m-commerce site.
The Sephora to Go mobile application melds the ease and functionality of the features available through the retailer's mobile commerce site.
MyBuys has teamed with m-commerce technology provider Branding Brand to build the m-commerce sites.
Sephora used m-commerce technology vendor Branding Brand to build the Sephora Mobile site.
"The mobile Web site leverages the technology on our existing ecommerce site, and adds to it." ... Located at m.sephora.com, the program also has the ability to suggest new products based on past purchases and look up past ones.
"We work with Branding Brand, a market leading mobile platform company, which enables us to develop and reinforce a variety of social media initiatives quickly and effectively."
After seven months of deliberation, he settled on a company called Branding Brand, which provided him with the flexibility he sought and ultimately launched the mobile-optimized Steve Madden Web site.
Koshzow, Mason and Rahimi launched Branding Brand. In the first year the company snagged heavyweight local clients, including Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), the $4-billion-a-year retailer.
Tagging has been used at a variety of companies, including Dick's Sporting Goods, which worked with Pittsburgh-based Branding Brand.
The m-commerce site, built by online marketing firm Branding Brand, enables consumers to shop on their mobile phones Dick's Sporting Goods' complete selection of merchandise.
To win over an early client, Christopher Mason, managing director of Branding Brand, knew he'd have to do more with less.
According to Alexa.com, the Web information company, the number one most visited site in the United States is... Google! (Duh.)
Believe it or not, social networking has been around since e-mail was just getting popular.
A two-time entrepreneur before she marked her 28th birthday a few weeks ago, Christina Koshzow is augmenting her traditional portfolio by turning entrepreneurial investor.
Small websites will not try to compete directly with powerhouses such as YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace, says branding expert, Joey Rahimi, managing director of Branding Brand.
Local entrepreneur Chris Mason has co-founded two companies in Pittsburgh...
Top 50 in Business: From high school to college to small business owner, CMU grad found opportunities at home.
Last year, Koshzow and two College Prowler colleagues launched Branding Brand, a Pittsburgh-based PR and viral marketing company.
Thinking like entrepreneurs led three Carnegie Mellon grads to launch two successful companies, both in Pittsburgh.
Christina Koshzow, founder of Branding Brand talks about starting her second company in Pittsburgh.
Christina Koshzow, founder of Branding Brand provides advice on creating a brand identity for your company.