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Boxed Wholesale CEO says mobile made brand’s success possible

NEW YORK – The CEO of Boxed Wholesale, speaking at the Global Mobile Internet Conference New York 2015, explained that his company would not have succeeded if not for mobile, where shopping behavior is not as rigid as on desktop.

During the “Using Mobile to Deepen Customer Engagement” session, the CEO detailed how developing an application first, allowed its brand to take off because there is room in the mobile space for a retail service such as this. However, Mr. believes that had the service launched on desktop, it would not have been successful as the mobile space is still open for new shopping experiences but desktop shopping behavior is secure and consumers do not shop CPG.

“Our business could not survive if mobile platforms were not as significant as they are today,” said Chieh Huang, CEO of Boxed Wholesale . “The reason is consumer package goods is a significant driver in the world’s economies, but yet there is no clear leader in online CPG and it is one of the last offline sectors that has not been shifted online.

“There is a reason for that,” he said. “You can not really make money off it the way commerce is done today, meaning that when you go to Amazon and Walmart, you spearfish.

“You find one great item at one great price, you buy it and get it shipped to you. That is great for the high margin fashion items like shoes, as Zappos pioneered and electronics but when it comes to toilet paper it does not fundamentally work, you are not going to make money on that.”

Big-box in small screen
Boxed Wholesale is a mobile app in which users can shop on their device for groceries and big-boxed items similar to Costco or BJs. Shoppers create a virtual shopping cart through on the app and the service delivers the items to the customer’s door.

Online shopping has been established for a substantial amount of time and remained stagnant enough for users to form fixed practices of shopping through desktop. Through desktop shoppers are not purchasing a wide range of big boxed items or much CPG at all.

Consumers shopping on desktop typically purchase apparel, accessories, electronics and products. Customers do not want to purchase a wide cart of goods that they would buy at the grocery store.

“So the way that mobile changed things for us, we found that we could actually break that behavior,” Mr. Huang said. “So you no longer have to train folks to spearfish.

“Who knows how to shop on mobile,” he said. “No one really shopped on mobile five years ago so this fundamentally could be changed.”

There is no room for an upheaval in online commerce, but mobile commerce is in constant development. The future of mcommerce is unknown and there is room for a wide range of services.

Mobile forward
Mobile device users are interested in the next interesting thing and are more inclined to try something new. The interface of Boxed Wholesale allows for an intimate and up close shopping experience, creating more a draw for consumers to use its services.

Once established on mobile, the retailer was able to foray into a desktop site to expand its services and build its user base. For Boxed Wholesale, it made more sense to go desktop from mobile, which breaks the usual mold of how mobile development occurred in the past.

Boxed Wholesale promises users a much easier solution to shopping big box items. Users can access and shop the service whenever they want, wherever they want.

Allowing access to a retailer service at anytime is a huge benefit to consumers and in turn a huge asset to retailers.

“For us now our average basket has gone up past ten items, when we see usage of the search bar has not add to that,” Mr. Huang said. “So that is a fundamentally different way of shopping that could never be recreated on desktop.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily