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GNC redesigns iPhone, Android app to enhance mobile shopping experience

The new mobile apps follow the March 2011 launch of GNC’s iPhone app, which has received more than 100,000 downloads to date. The apps are available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“Our strategy is to go to our customers, wherever they are and however they want to shop,” said Jeff Hennion, chief marketing officer and ecommerce at GNC, Pittsburgh, PA.

“In addition, our customers spend a substantial amount of time researching our products, so getting customers the tools to research products, track their regimens and find any of our 5,000 U.S. locations is very important to us,” he said.

“Delivering mobile app’s as a compliment to our mobile site for those customers who prefer to use their mobile device to get all of the information is a core part of that strategy.”

GNC has more than 7,600 locations, of which more than 5,900 retail locations are in the United States and franchise operations in 53 countries.

Branding Brand powers GNC’s mobile app.

New look and feel
The mobile apps have new features.

For example, the main menu is now organized with nine buttons so users can access the information they are looking for.

There is also the Health Center feature that provides access to research by ingredient, health concern and lifestyle or goals. The feature lets consumers discover which supplements are the best fit for their day-to-day needs.

Customers can also browse the clearance section to see what products are on sale.

“As we track usage on our mobile site by device, it was clear the two platforms for which we needed to build apps were the iPhone and Android,” Mr. Hennion said.

“We are getting the word out about the apps in a number of ways,” he said.

“We are focused on telling the message of distributed commerce and providing multi-channel opportunities for our customers through in store messaging, on, on our mobile site, through social media channels and via our email database.”

Additional enhancements
The revamped mobile apps also let consumers scan and store their Gold Card information instead of having to carry the card around with them everywhere.

Users can also read ratings and reviews to see what others are saying about a certain product, as well as discover in-store deals and learn about products by scanning the bar code on the product on QR code that is featured next to the in-store signage.

The mobile apps also feature a store locator that helps consumers find the nearest location and a buy it now feature where users can shop and buy directly from the mobile app and use the PayPal function.

In addition, the app lets users set scheduled reminders to take their supplements, tracks usage and consumers emails about compliance.

The iPhone and Android mobile app also includes a Deal of the Day feature that offers app-only product deals.

“Mobile represents approximately 20 percent of our ecommerce traffic, so mobile is an integral part of any strategic initiatives we have in marketing to our customers,” Mr. Hennion said.

“GNC currently has approximately 3,000 stores outside the U.S. in over 50 countries, and we are focused as well on enhancing our global mobile presence as part of our global ecommerce strategy,” he said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York