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Armani Exchange adds in-store pickup to mobile commerce site

Global fashion brand A|X Armani Exchange has upgraded its mobile commerce Web site to bring more immediate service and style to on-the-go customers.

Armani Exchange has designed an online platform to drive consumers to a mobile commerce Web site where consumers can shop the new seasonal collections, find stores nearby, watch videos and read the A|X Styletraxx blog. A|X has also developed an on-demand shopping experience letting shoppers to preorder items via the mobile site and providing the option of same-day pickup at their nearest A|X retail store.

“Billions of dollars have been spent globally by consumers off the mobile phone on premium-rate service—ringtones, sweepstakes, etcetera—one dollar at a time,” said Gary Schwartz, president/CEO of Impact Mobile Inc., Toronto. “Now with tethered credit-card services this impulse purchase behavior can be extended to hard-goods purchases.”

A|X Armani Exchange was launched in 1991 aimed at a new generation of young, fast-fashion consumers—a collection from Georgio Armani offering urban, individual style.

Armani Exchange touts its brand as “Accessible Armani” that defines a new dress code with a collection that takes its cue from urban lifestyle and music culture.

Today, Armani Exchange has an exclusive direct-controlled retail network that comprises 170 freestanding stores in 24 countries.

The A|X mobile version of the was developed in partnership with MarketLive, Inc., an ecommerce software and service provider for midsized retailers.

Since 1995, MarketLive Inc. has provided ecommerce retail technology and services that help companies sell goods and services online.

Designed to meet the requirements of atalogers, retailers, direct marketers and manufacturers, MarketLive enables merchants to enhance their customers’ online and mobile experience with the goal of improving acquisition, conversion and retention rates.

MarketLive powers retail ecommerce sites such as Peruvian Connection, Bon-Ton Stores, Sports Chalet, Vanity Shops, Gaiam and Title Nine.

Mobile shopping
Armani Exchange continues to create platforms aiming to bridge creativity and commerce.

With Generation Y making up the greater percentage of wireless users who are open to new marketing channels, Armani Exchange has created A|X Mobile Shopping.

A|X Mobile is designed to make the A|X brand accessible to customers anytime, anywhere.

Today’s retail consumer is enjoying the benefits of having smartphones like RIM’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPhone.

According to Gartner Group, by 2012, 30 percent of smartphone users will use the Web to shop, resulting in 3 percent of the smartphone population conducting an ecommerce transaction.

The mobile version of allows the smartphone user to buy styles from the Armani Exchange collections.

These shoppers can navigate categories, browse merchandise, view color swatches and buy merchandise on the mobile storefront using checkout processes designed specifically for smartphones.

Users can also locate the nearest A|X retail store via the smartphone’s geolocation functionality.

The A|X mobile storefront also delivers on-the-go customer service to build loyalty and customer satisfaction, with features such as real-time order status and click-to-call customer service.

Consumers can also explore the lifestyle section of the mobile Web site, giving them access to content such as wallpapers, behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive music.

In-store pickup
To further enhance the customer service experience, is also launching in-store pickup.

The in-store pickup feature lets customers select items via the Web site and buy the items the same day or within two days from their local Armani Exchange retail store.

To use the in-store pickup feature, the shopper locates and selects the nearest A|X store by ZIP code.

Once the store is selected, the shopper provides his or her contact information and the list of desired items. The site will then reserve and place the order with the selected store.

When the order is ready for pick up, usually within two hours, the shopper will receive an email confirmation from the store, inviting the shopper to come in and pick up the items.

The luxury apparel retailer has been active in the mobile space lately. It launched the original version of its mobile commerce site this past November (see story).

Armani Exchange’s first mobile ad campaign to promote its Spring 2009 collection saw an average click-through rate of 1.22 percent and interaction rates as high as 14.5 percent on the mobile site (see story).

A|X Armani Exchange also ran a text-to-win promotion in an effort that also involved SMS marketing with a mobile call-to-action printed on shopping bags (see story).

“‘Going mobile’ is not the challenge—the challenge is understanding the mobile consumer’s behavior,” Mr. Schwartz said. “The mobile commerce shopping experience needs to be designed for the mobile consumer and their impulse economy.

“It cannot be solely designed for the mobile screen,” he said. “If the goal is to take a legacy media and make it work on a smaller phone browser with limited functionality, then the industry is definitely going mobile.”