NFL’s New England Patriots ProShop goes mobile commerce
The football apparel retailer tapped Unbound Commerce’s Mobile Presence platform for the site, letting the ProShop connect with its customers via mobile and enabling mobile payments. Moosejaw Mountaineering, a chain of outdoor, surf, skate and snowboard apparel and equipment stores based in the Midwest, also launched a mobile commerce site with Unbound.
“These companies undertook this initiative because, in general, they’re finding that their customers are increasingly mobile,” said Keith Lietzke, chief marketing officer of Unbound Commerce, Newton, MA.
“They’re seeing more and more hits from mobile devices on their wired Web sites, and as a rule that experience is not good for Web site visitors,” he said. “Sometimes the pages don’t load, some take a long time to load, and they’re formatted for big screen, not the small screen.
“This gives them the opportunity to reach customers who are not in front of their PC, not in a physical store, and lets them shop and make purchases with their handset.”
The retailer provides Unbound with its product feed.
Unbound’s platform created the mobile version of the Patriots ProShop’s online store at http://www.patriotsproshop.mobi without affecting its daily operations and without any new technology to manage.
The New England Patriots play at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA.
Patriots ProShop is the official sports apparel retailer of the NFL franchise. The ProShop is located in Patriot Place, a shopping mall in the Gillette Stadium. It also does a lot of online business.
After losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII in February and losing quarterback Tom Brady to injury at the beginning of the current NFL season, the Patriots have remained in playoff contention with Matt Cassel as their starting quarterback.
“If you’re at the stadium and you want to buy a Matt Cassel jersey, are you going to fight the hordes to get into the ProShop, or are you going to use your mobile to buy the jersey?” Mr. Lietzke said. “They’re promoting their physical store, but they’re also promoting specific items, and how does the customer act on that?
“Now they can use their mobile phone to buy right then and there, wherever they are,” he said.
If consumers go to http://www.patriotsproshop.com with a mobile phone, they will automatically be redirected to the mobile version of the site.
Meanwhile, Moosejaw launched the mobile version of its online shopping and lifestyle Web site at http://m.moosejaw.com with Unbound Commerce’s new Mobile Presence platform to take advantage of the increasing popularity of smartphones.
Moosejaw’s goal is to build a personal connection with its customers through its physical stores, Web site and catalog.
Unbound Commerce enabled the Moosejaw to translate its Web site and catalog to mobile and offer a mobile brand experience for its customers.
The mobile Web site offers product ordering, click to purchase and the ability to track orders.
“Consumers can order online and be able to track their orders on their mobile phone,” Mr. Lietzke said. “Or they can shop on their mobile phone, put something in their shopping cart, then go home, open up the shopping cart, inspect the item and go ahead and order it online.”
Moosejaw is using the mobile site to drive traffic to its stores, improve the shopping experience and deepen the brand’s interaction with consumers.
Both the Patriots ProShop and Moosejaw have a Store Locator with weekly circular specials on their mobile site.
Both brands are giving their customers access to their catalogs from their mobile device and incorporating mobile purchasing.
They are also attempting to enhance their inâ€store experience by providing customer reviews and product details via the mobile site.
“Online customers make heavy use of customer reviews to find out which products other customers loved, and with the mobile site they can bring that experience into the in-store experience,” Mr. Lietzke said.
“Providing reviews of products via mobile leads to higher purchase rates, because some consumers will be more comfortable with their product selection,” he said.
Unbound Commerce also has the ability to create client applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Google Android phones, developed and branded specifically for the retailer.
However, neither the Patriots ProShop nor Moosejaw have launched an app yet.
Unbound Commerce’s retail customers can also deploy text messaging campaigns to advertise new sales and special offers.
Unbound claims that its Mobile Presence platform delivers all of these capabilities without forcing retailers to buy additional software or hardware.
There are more than 40 million regular mobile Web users in the U.S., according to a Nielsen market study.
The challenge for retailers now is to understand how their particular customers want to take advantage of this new medium.
Unbound Commerce helps retailers establish their mobile presence using existing Web assets and deepen their engagement with customers through the mobile Internet.
Using the Mobile Presence platform, Unbound Commerce claims that companies can get up and running in just a few weeks.
“We’ve done a lot of market research, and based on that, we are choosing to focus on retail,” Mr. Lietzke said. “We’ve built a generic platform for serving mobile optimized Web pages, and in 2009 we feel that more retailers are going to move to mobile, so that’s the market we’re going after now and in the coming year.”
While launching a mobile Web site is a great first step, Mr. Lietzke encourages brands to employ a multichannel strategy.
“Brands should use mobile to enhance print, billboard and TV advertising, and use mobile advertising and traditional media to drive traffic to their mobile site,” he said. “Mobile connects the physical world with the electronic world of online purchasing.”