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Hollister Co. enters mobile commerce

Hollister Co. has joined its sibling clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch in the mobile commerce arena with a new site meant to extend convenience to its young, progressive customer base.

The site, powered by Digby, is available on all Web-enabled smartphones. Digby said a retailer that skews toward a younger demographic should go mobile because that is where the audience is.

“I think it has a lot to do with the demographic and mobile is a new opportunity to reach that demographic,” said David Sikora, founder/CEO of Digby, Austin, TX. “The younger folks are using their mobile devices for more and more things and it happens that one of those things is shopping for and actually buying products.”

Hollister is an American lifestyle brand by Abercrombie & Fitch Co. The concept is designed to attract consumers age 14-18.

Digby is a provider of mobile commerce services to retailers.

Surfing mobile commerce waves
Hollister’s mobile site features click-to-email functionality, a store locator and various shopping categories.

On the main page, consumers can pick between Dudes and Bettys.

If a consumer picks Dudes, they are brought to a new page with male products.

Categories are listed alphabetically and the number of items in each category is given. For example, the cologne section has seven items, whereas the tops section features 456 items.

The apparel and accessory topics are broken down into subtopics as well. Under tops, consumers can choose between subcategories such as hoodies, polos, surf fleeces and tanks.

Clicking hoodies will bring consumers to a new page that has even more subcategories, these exclusively hooded sweatshirts. All the different style and branded sweatshirts are listed such as Old Town, Emma Wood and Balboa Island, all Southern California locations.

Individual products feature the price, including the original price if the item is on sale, a product description and the sizes available.

To pay for the products, consumers are asked to enter their email address, credit card and billing information.

Here is an image of the shopping cart:

Mobilizing assets
Mr. Sikora said the primary challenge for retailers going mobile is that many of them have spent the last 12 to 14 years building a robust ecommerce business and now they are met with a completely different screen size and an on-the-go audience.

Retailers need to think how they are going to engage the on-the-go consumer with the assets they have developed for the Web that can be redeployed to develop a mobile experience.

“You don’t have the user’s full attention, they are not sitting in a seat, they could be walking or standing in line somewhere,” Mr. Sikora said. “Essentially much of what retailers have done for ecommerce is not terribly compatible for a mobile use case.

“There is a really exciting demographic of folks just living on their devices and as they live on this device and do more things on these devices, retailers really want to be there as a way to engage users at the highest level,” he said. “Our general philosophy that mobile is really going to see a big redistribution of tasks up that up until now folks were very comfortable doing on PC Web.

“I think it is really imperative for retailers to start thinking of ways to not just accommodate the changing task pattern of demographics, but to think of really new innovative ways to reach those folks.”