Ralph Lauren’s Rugby.com tackles mobile

Like the existing WAP site that is optimized for all other mobile devices, the iPhone site lets consumers  browse and buy all products that are available on Rugby.com.

The iPhone Rugby.com site at http://i.rugby.com appeals to tech-savvy youth, including college-age consumers, who typically favor Rugby’s line of sporty clothes and accessories such as rugby shirts.

Rather than simply reformatting for the iPhone’s screen, Ralph Lauren included extra features specific to the iPhone.

Consumers can discover related products via cross sells, review size charts and the Fit Guide information for each product.

Also, consumers can also browse product and blog listings significantly faster through AJAX and performance optimization.

In addition, consumers can read and comment on all blog postings, stream the new collection’s video and link to Google Maps from the enhanced store locator functionality.

Ralph Lauren, New York, also applied a “redirect,” so that consumers can simply type “www.rugby.com” into their browser, and the site can recognize the device and send the user to the appropriate site. 

The interactive platforms that Ralph Lauren is paying attention to – kiosks, digital window display and mobile – are increasingly second-nature to the brand’s customers: they expect brands to follow them there, per the retailer.

Rugby.com’s iPhone site comes a month after Ralph Lauren upgrade its iPhone application with new features that reflect its haute couture line and products highlighting a luxury lifestyle.

The additions within the application came more than four months after the retailer launched the iPhone app to showcase its Ralph Lauren Collection (see story). Fashion-conscious consumers and Ralph Lauren die-hards are targeted for this application.

Included in the new application are video highlights from the company’s new fall 2009 runway show Feb. 21. The application debuted in October with video highlights from the spring 2009 show.

Why mobile?

Ralph Lauren customers are on-the-go, so building beyond the desktop is crucial for its strategy. 

The company views mobile as the connective link between channels, as well as a platform for branding and mobile commerce.

From a display standpoint, the size of the iPhone’s screen is a huge draw.

Programmatically, Ralph Lauren wanted to take advantage of AJAX in the interface.

Ralph Lauren believes it has created a mobile retail experience that’s more dynamic and efficient for the user.

The brand claims to be the first major U.S. retailer to use QR Codes in conjunction with its mobile commerce site launches for Ralph Lauren and Rugby.

Since then, it has also launched iPhone Applications for the last two seasons of its Women’s Runway Collection.

Ralph Lauren claims its goal has been to provide a consistent and engaging experience for customers across every channel.