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Beyond the Rack exec: If you build it, they will download it

During the Don’t Leave Money on the Table: Beyond the Rack’s Mobile Q4 Review session, the executive detailed how the digital retailer found that customers were downloading its mobile application with little prompting and now sees 45 to 55 percent of its Monday-through-Friday sales on mobile. However, retailers need to really focus on developing these apps to their full potential, and not simply create an app just to check a box.

“You can not just build mobile sites and check the box,” said Richard Cohene, director of marketing at Beyond the Rack. “You have to build the best mobile site that you can.

“Just always look forward in mobile,” he said. “You do not want to be the one that is the last to the party with Apple Pay, or last to the party with responsive design.

“You want to be in front of it because the customers are already experiencing it.”

Mobile apps are key
Beyond the Rack boasts a significant amount of traffic through mobile and is aware of the strong potential the platform offers. Retailers that still have not forayed into developing apps are missing out, but also are those that have created apps without much thought.

Mobile apps put forward such a high prospect of increasing sales and engagement with consumers. This will only increase as younger demographics, who have grown up in a digital world, age and start to dominate as the majority of retail customers.

While Mr. Cohene believes that mobile apps are most important, he also noted that retailers using email to connect with users also need to ensure content is appearing as intended. An effective method in guarantee high quality email is through responsive design.

The digital retailer switched to responsive emails and saw significant results. Once Beyond the Rack introduced responsive emails, it saw an increase of 14 percent in sales from its daily newsletter.

The increase in email-generated sales and high interaction with its newsletter is extremely important for Beyond the Rack, as 60 percent of its revenue is trafficked through emails.

Following the launch of the responsive emails, the retailer did more than just a minor update and completely overhauled the newsletter and email design. This resulted in a 44 percent increase in sales from emails.

Mr. Cohene also urges retailers to introduce push-notifications into their app designs. Now that consumers have the option to turn off these messages, retailers know that the users who choose to receive these receive notifications are loyal followers of the brand and a huge asset.

Retailers sending out push-notifications to these valued users are also not competing for inbox space via email and will likely not be buried in with many other messages, as most consumers are known to turn off notifications.

PayPal is another important aspect of Beyond the Rack’s strategy. The retailers leverages the payment service, as it has large customer-based of loyal followers that trust its platform.

For new Beyond the Rack customers, purchasing through PayPal can make them feel more at ease because they consider the platform to be secure, in turn generating trust for the retailer.

“You are not just getting an ease of payment you are actually gaining a trust factor there,” Mr. Cohene said. “For your first time customers who are coming to your Web site, they do not know you.

“They do not trust you, you are just a Website that they just want to buy something from,” he said. “PayPal is a little bit of a gap bridged there in terms of building a trust and a loyalty to the consumer that lets the buyer feel that much more comfortable.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily