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Rue La La continues mobile sales upswing with Apple Pay

Flash sales retailer Rue La La is attempting to capitalize on its 60 percent of traffic stemming from mobile devices by integrating Apple Pay into its application, offering time-strapped consumers additional payment options.

The ecommerce destination is seeking to connect with on-the-go shoppers by streamlining the checkout experience even more, enabling fans of designer brands to get their hands on the limited-time merchandise as quickly as possible. Rue La La may enjoy a surge in mobile sales following the integration, due to the ease-of-use and security typically associated with Apple Pay.

“Our first priority at Rue La La is to give our members the best experience possible at each and every touch point,” said Arash Hadipanah, senior product manager of mobile at Rue La La, Boston. “By providing an easy to use, secure payment method, we think it will help reduce barriers for new members to make that first purchase.”

The edge of innovation
Rue La La aims to keep its digital platforms relevant for its customer base, which consists of a large number of millennial shoppers. Sixty percent of the company’s traffic comes from mobile devices, highlighting the importance of continuously rolling out innovative smartphone-specific features.

Apple Pay’s reputation for security has also prompted a plethora of retailers to add the platform to their mobile payment options. Consumers who add their credit or debit card details into Apple Pay will not have the numbers stored on their smartphones or on Apple’s servers.

Instead, Apple will assign the card a unique device account number, which will be encrypted and stored within the mobile device’s secure element. Transactions will be authorized via a one-time security code.

Another added perk of using Apple Pay is the ability to make instant payments with Touch ID. Rue La La shoppers will be able to leverage their iOS device’s fingerprint identity sensor to verify a purchase and skip filling out forms requiring payment information.

This could be especially useful if a shopper is attempting to buy an item that is nearly sold out, or nearing its sale expiration date on Rue La La.

Offering one-touch checkout experiences is a paramount strategy for any mobile retailer.

“Our members want choice, whether it’s from the products we offer or the payment methods we support,” Mr. Hadipanah said. “As more people shift to using secure services like Apple Pay to do their online shopping, we want to make sure we offer our members that choice.

“At the end of the day, it all goes back to supporting our members and their needs. We as an organization stay on top of anything and everything that will benefit their overall experience.”

Simplifying impulse purchases
Flash sales destinations generally see a healthy amount of impulse purchases take place, especially among consumers attempting to get their hands on a product going out of stock. While simplifying the mobile payments experience is one part of the sales-driving goal, adding ease to the rest of the sign-up and checkout processes should also be at the forefront of retailers’ minds.

Two executives at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2016 discussed how the online retailer leverages one-hand ergonomics to modernize checkout experiences with larger forms, swiping gestures and contextual keyboards (see story).

Rue La La – and other likeminded ecommerce sites – could find one-hand ergonomics to be a strategy worth exploring the future.

Nevertheless, the retailer has done plenty to establish itself as a top mobile marketplace, especially among millennial shoppers.

Over the summer, Rue La La reported increased engagement with its smartphone app as a result of the Apple Watch, which was promising news for the numerous merchants who quickly jumped onboard with smartwatch offerings (see story).

Additionally, Rue La La enabled mobile and online shoppers to sample cotton items from top brands such as Hudson Jeans and Springfield as part of a springtime partnership with Cotton Inc. that saw the flash sales site offer a series of four curated cotton collections (see story).

“Leveraging mobile strategy as it relates to our customers is very important at Rue La La,” Mr. Hadipanah said. “Each day, Rue launches boutiques at 11 AM and at 3 PM, and they run for just 48 hours.

“If you aren’t there right away, you might miss out on the item you love,” he said. “Our app makes it easy to shop Rue La La wherever you are and whenever you want. In the retail sector, consumers are generally still getting comfortable shopping from mobile devices, especially when making bigger-ticket purchases.

“At Rue La La, we see over 60 percent of our daily sales coming through mobile devices. We want our members to be comfortable and excited to shop on Rue La La, no matter when, where or how they access us.”