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Rue La La app’s card-scanning feature allows for speedy purchases

Much similar to a check scanner on most banking apps seen these days, the tool uses a smartphone camera to photograph the card, alleviating the tedious typing of the 16-digit card number. The implementation reflects Rue La La’s constant push to bring the most innovative technology to mobile shoppers.

“We always aim to make shopping on our app fun, easy and exciting,” said Arash Hadipanah, senior mobile product manager at Rue La La, Boston. “With every new capability, we ask ‘will this make shopping even easier for our members?’ We knew that entering in a 16-digit number on a small keyboard can be challenging.

“The credit card scanner capabilities help to reduce time and friction during checkout. Rue La La’s model is based on limited-time, limited-inventory sales, so ease and speed of checkout is key, and this new feature certainly helps achieve this goal.”

Rue members are well acquainted with a speedy shopping process, given the retailer’s boutiques are flash sales and shoppers must act quickly to snatch the items. Since the limited amount of inventory could sell out at any moment, Rue La La has prioritized the maintenance and innovation of the payment process to prevent timeouts and other technical difficulties that could inhibit a purchase.

To access the card scanner, users can click on the payment box and then choose “Add.” The user is then redirected to a screen where credit card information can be typed in or the scanner can be selected.

Rue members using the app will notice their billing, shipping and payment information has been stored after their first purchase. Once an item is added to the shopping cart, members are only one click away from completing their purchase.

The app can store multiple billing and shipping addresses along with multiple payment cards.

On the checkout page, the purchaser will also see an estimated delivery date, number of days left they have of free shipping and a summary of their bag items.

Constant climbing
Earlier this year, Rue La La’s revamp of its app was geared towards eliminating any distractions that causes cart abandonment and included photos and a new checkout page.

As Rue La La continues to see more traffic moving mobile, the app shows the importance of nailing the mobile checkout experience for flash sales retailers. The changes were only rolled out across Rue La La’s iPhone app, with a similar update planned for the company’s iPad app (see story).

In 2013, Rue La La aimed to significantly differentiate itself during the holiday season by making multiple tweaks and alterations to the creative within its app with initial results increasing conversions 35-40 percent.

Rue La La was pushing the envelope with its app in the few prior months with A/B testing and was testing an average of five to 15 items within its apps daily. Since Rue La La’s sales are only available for a limited amount of time, constantly testing what is and is not working plays a big role for the flash retailer in everything that the company rolls out, especially during the holidays (see story).

Rue’s innovations clearly show that their member’s shopping experience ranks as a top priority.

“Our members know they need to get in and get out quickly before the merchandise sells out,” Mr. Hadipanah said. “Mobile is huge for us as our members are on-the-go. We see over 50 percent of traffic coming through our apps, so the ease of use is key.

“Every day, we work to make improvements to the user experience and bring innovative, exciting new features that make our apps an amazing shopping experience.”

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Commerce Daily, New York