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Disney bolsters revenue via commerce-enabled iPad app

Disney is continuing its plunge into mobile with a commerce-enabled iPad app that lets consumers buy products on the go.

The app resembles the company’s Web site with a similar design and functions. The Disney Store app is the company’s latest effort to beef up its mobile strategy, which also includes an mobile-optimized Web site, mobile partnerships and SMS programs.

“The importance of an app for a retailer is dependent on several things,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta.

“At the very least, a mobile app presence is critical for any retailer to market to the largest reach of consumers,” she said.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Disney. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

Disney did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile magic
The app marries commerce and mobile to let consumers shop via their handsets.

Disney fans can shop by category, price and product name.

Shoppers can browse price, category or popularity

Consumers can add items to their carts and buy products after creating a Disney account.

To speed up the shopping time, credit cards can be saved to a user’s account.

Consumers can also find nearby Disney stores and view their account history.

Design-wise, the app mimics Disney Store’s Web site with a carousel at the top that showcases new products and offers.

Consumers can buy items directly through the app

“With an app, additional features to enhance the site can be added for a more interactive experience, but for shopping there isn’t a need to change the site on this form factor,” Ms. Troutman said.

For example, the app is currently running a promotion for free shipping on Halloween costume orders.

Once placing an order, consumers can track packages through their account.

The app also lists other Web-based information for shoppers, including helpful phone numbers, shipping information, sizing charts and access to Disney’s loyalty program – the Disney Redemption Card.

Wish on mobile
Disney’s launch of the commerce-enabled app is far from the company’s first attempt at mobile.

The children’s media conglomerate also tapped sales with the ToyHopper app in 2010 that let parents buy Disney toys on their iPhones, iPod touches or iPads (see story).

Additionally, Disney recently rolled out more than 50 mobile-optimized comics to Apple devices that targeted fans of the brand’s classic comics (see story).

“Mobile commerce adds the quick ease of searching product and information in the stores, catalog purchases while buying for holiday and much more,” Ms. Troutman said.

“With mobile being such an important marketing arm for Disney, being able to start and finish a transaction on mobile is pretty important,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York