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Columbia Sportswear places mobile storefront at center of commerce strategy

Active outdoor apparel and footwear brand Columbia Sportswear is driving sales among its target consumers on the go via a mobile storefront.

With a simplified naviga¬tion structure and a subset of template and feature customizations, Columbia tapped Demandware Mobile to launch the mobile storefront in less than six weeks. This storefront at and gives outdoor enthusiasts access from their mobile devices to learn more about Columbia and its product line, find a local retailer or shop on the fully ecommerce-enabled site.

“The key business challenges Demandware Mobile solves for brands, retailers and merchants are providing a new channel to sell product and drive revenue, fully integrating channels and enhancing both the online and in-store shopping experience,” said Gary Lombardo mobile product marketing manager at Demandware, Woburn, MA.

“We provide clients such as Columbia with greater brand equity through increased customer engagement, faster time-to-market and lower complexity to implement,” he said.

“We’re driving competitive differentiation in the market through a rich set of features and the continuous innovation to this feature set.”

In addition to Columbia, Demandware clients include Bare Escentuals, Barneys New York, Callaway Golf, Columbia Sportswear, Crocs, Hanover Direct, Jones Apparel Group, Lifetime Brands, Michaels Stores, Neckermann, Panasonic, Reitmans, s.Oliver and Theory.

Commerce via the mobile Web
Some of the features Demandware Mobile has enabled on Columbia’s mobile site include:

• Search – Since mobile users are often in a hurry, Columbia presents search at the top of the home page for quick product lookups.

• Product subcategories – Consumers can navigate to product subcategories such as jackets, fleece and shirts from product categories on the home page.

• Product details page – Product details are presented with images optimized for mobile screens, along with color availability, color, size and quantity selection, pricing, style, product description and features, and other information.

• Ratings and reviews – Full product ratings, reviews and product-details pages are all available from subcategory pages, bringing the full online shopping experience directly into the hands of the mobile consumer.

• Seamless Checkout – The checkout process is as simple and seamless as the main Columbia site.

Mobile consumers can add products to the cart, use a persistent shopping cart on all pages and get order confirmations that include shipping options, tax and total cost.

• Store Locator – A store locator lets users find nearby stores that sell Columbia products using the smartphone GPS.

Links on the store name opens Google Maps pages while links to the phone number dial the store number.

Mobile is a must for retailers
The explosion of mobile is making it a mission-critical channel for retailers.

A recent survey of 3,600 U.S. consumers commissioned by Demandware showed that 15 percent of consumers have used a mobile device to make purchases.

And Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2015, more consumers will shop with mobile devices than laptops or desktops.

A browser-agnostic ecommerce option for mobile storefronts, Demandware Mobile also enables personalized content on a mobile site through active merchandising functionality.

This feature drives dynamic customer interactions by enabling retailers to present personalized content and promotions to mobile consumers.

Retailers receive automatic seasonal upgrades that include new merchandising functionality for continuous site innovation.

Demandware Mobile offers a product catalog, flexible price books, promotions, optimized mobile checkout, active merchandising methodology, dynamic content slots, configurable site search, security and data integration.

“Until now, launching a mobile Web store, particularly one with rich commerce capabilities, has either been expensive—maintaining multiple sites—or lackluster due to the limited nature of screen scraping technologies,” Mr. Lombardo said.

“Demandware Mobile combines the best of both worlds by offering a comprehensive list of transaction-based functionality with implementation times starting at eight weeks,” he said.

“Demandware now offers a mobile storefront that will work with any existing ecommerce environment and works across all major smartphone browsers, dramatically reducing the complexity associated with managing both ecommerce and mobile channels.”

Final Take