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L.L. Bean breaks into mobile commerce after strong consumer demand

The company tapped Usablenet to power the mobile site. Consumers can access the optimized site by entering on their mobile browser.

“We’ve dabbed our toe in mobile back in 2009 when we offered a free limited edition game,” said Laurie Brooks, senior public relations representative at L.L. Bean. “This mobile site is really an extension of customer service.

“It’s really to meet our customers where they want to shop,” she said. “We’re multichannel merchant.
“We were responding to what our customers were asking us – to have a shoppable mobile site.”

L.L.Bean, Inc. is a multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel.

Mobile shopping
Via the mobile site, consumers can shop the company’s entire inventory.

Customers can browse products they want and read descriptions to get a better understanding of the items.

Additionally, the site features a customized product navigation based on category.

Customers can become a register L.L. Bean users and check their account status via the optimized site.

The mobile site features a search function, store finder, L.L.Bean Visa Card coupon lookup, click-to-call customer service, ratings and reviews, e-mail sign up and complete product descriptions.

“We are using traditional public relations and social media to get the word out about the site,” Ms. Brooks said. “We have several Twitter accounts and our Facebook page.

“It makes sense for us to be engaged in this channel and be where our customers are.

Mobile extension
According to Ms. Brooks, the company is exploring extending their presence to mobile apps.

In a couple of weeks, L.L. Bean plans to roll out a mobile site for L.L Bean Signature, its heritage brand.

“With over 70 percent of smartphone users using their phones to research products before making purchase decisions, and over 20 percent of email marketing being read on mobile phones, it is necessary for brands to ensure that their site is optimized for the best mobile experience,” said Nick Taylor, CEO of Usablenet, New York.

“Digital-savvy consumers expect core brand functionality to be extended to mobile, all mobile phones to be supported, and optimal usability in terms of speed and design,” he said. “With the continuing surge of smartphone use and mobile commerce, it is imperative for retailers to stay ahead of the curve and provide their customers the opportunity to search, browse, research products, and purchase via their mobile devices.

“This year, we expect mobile commerce to continue the exponential growth it has seen over the last several years. As consumer adoption of smartphones continues to skyrocket, we expect mobile commerce to become an essential component of the multichannel sales and marketing strategies of all retailers.”