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Bergdorf Goodman enters mobile commerce

The Shoe Salon application will offer 24-hour access to the season’s must-have shoes and is available for the iPhone and iPod touch. Searches for competitor applications from Saks Fifth Ave, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom were unsuccessful. 

“Mobile technology and the iPhone in particular are becoming more and more integral to consumers’ daily life, so we believe it’s important for fashion brands to connect with customers wherever they are,” said Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications at Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas.

“We know our audience is active with mobile marketing given that a growing number already access our site via their mobile device every day,” she said.

Bergdorf Goodman, which is owned by Neiman Marcus, is a luxury department store known for its elegance and customer service.

With the Shoe Salon application, consumers can buy the shoe of the day instantly via their mobile device, share finds with friends, enjoy expedited delivery and receive complimentary returns.

Here is a screen grab of the application:

“The elegance of the iPhone product has proven to translate well to the applications built for it,” said Brennan Hayden, vice president of Wireless Developer Agency, East Lansing, MI. “Luxury brands are picky about their associations, and that elegance provides the brand with a sense of comfort that the risk of embarrassment is lower than with a typical geeky technology product.”

When customers access the application they can view the featured shoe of the day, as well as the name of the designer, name of the shoe, description, size, price and the amount of time left to buy it.

Only one designer shoe is featured daily and a customer is given 24 hours to purchase that particular item.

Additionally, consumers can log-in to their account and share the featured shoe with friends.

“The iPhone is no longer just a prestige, early adopter product,” Mr. Hayden said. “The market overlaps with luxury brands, while increasing in absolute numbers, is decreasing in proportion to overall percentages of iPhone users.

“Not every male iPhone user wears Dolce & Gabbana glasses; not every female user carries a Louis Vuitton handbag,” he said. “IPhone users are high on the education spectrum, but not as high on the income spectrum as in the past.

“In the marketing context, the implication is important though not dramatic: data-driven targeting is essential for effective mobile marketing, even for the iPhone.”

For Bergdorf Goodman, the shoe application may very well turn out to be an additional sales channel.

Here is a screen grab of another page within the application:

The application is a great way to help the retailer stay in the minds (and on the phones) of consumers.

“Luxury brands face the difficult challenge of remaining top of mind with a very discerning and hard to reach audience,” said Jamie Wells, director of global trade marketing at Microsoft Mobile Advertising Solutions, Bellevue, WA.

 “The iPhone presents advertisers with an extremely high quality ad environment to frame their messaging, as well as a fairly scalable platform in terms of reach and frequency to target the classic luxury brand demographic” he said.