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Retailer Bebe enters mobile commerce

Bebe Stores, a trendy women’s apparel and accessories retailer, launched a mobile shopping iPhone application.

Consumers can browse Bebe’s online offerings and place orders from within the application. The clothing retailer said that the application is a natural extension of its brand.

“We recognized that more and more traffic and shopping was coming from mobile devices, so it was a natural lead into a shopping application,” said Yvette Turner-Pirz, senior director of Bebe.com, San Francisco.

Bebe is an American women’s clothing retail store focusing on contemporary fashions.

Contemporary fashion meets mobile
Within the application, consumers can browse new items in the Just In section of the application home page.

Consumers can scroll through items using the touch screen.

Also on the home page is the Final Sale section. There, consumers can browse discounted items.

A search button lets consumers browse the mobile store based on consumer-entered keywords.

Categories within the application include Just In, Apparel, Bags & Accessories, Shoes, Gifts and Sale.

Each category has subcategories based on item type and price. The application also features Bebe’s Web exclusives.

Items in the application feature descriptions and multiple images.

To use the commerce functionality, consumers needs to have a Bebe.com account.

Ms. Turner-Pirz said that the application benefits Bebe’s customers.

“We see the app as a benefit to our best clients,” Ms. Turner-Pirz said. “Our styles enter and exit into inventory quickly, so having more access to new arrivals and the ability to be first is important to our clients.”

The target demographic for the application is “contemporary fashionistas,” according to the clothing company.

Ms. Turner-Pirz said that over half of Bebe.com’s customers are under 30 and that they anticipate a similar age group to use the iPhone application.

The application is being marketed on the retailer’s Web site, via email and through Bebe’s social media networks.

Because of the holiday season, Ms. Turner-Pirz said that in-store promotion will not take place because Bebe fears the news will get lost in the shuffle.

However, Ms. Turner-Pirz said that Bebe’s in-store staff members are the best word-of-mouth marketers and that they will spread the word about the brand’s new shopping tool to consumers.

Ms. Turner-Pirz said that Bebe is always looking to stay current in terms of marketing and trends.

“As a fashion company, it is a natural reaction to want to be part of what’s next and what’s new,” Ms. Turner-Pirz said. “Mobile is the new Internet platform that conveniently fits in your pocket.

“No one leaves home without it, so that is a principle space Bebe needs to be,” she said. “Bebe’s app is an extension of our social marketing program.

“It is about being where your client is.”