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Rue La La exec: App users require exclusive, sales-driving features

PALM DESERT, CA – A Rue La La executive at eTail West 2016 claimed that the flash sales retailer prefers giving its application users access to exclusive features, such as the ability to shop limited-time sale items before they are available on desktop, to boost loyalty and mobile sales.

During the keynote panel discussion, “Getting The Sale Completed On Mobile Devices,” executives from Rue La La,, Moxie and Kirna Zabete discussed the different customer experiences that occur on mobile Web versus an app, and highlighted ways of prompting undecided mobile shoppers into making an of-the-moment purchase. Rue La La, for example, treats its loyal app users to new perks designed to appeal to shopping enthusiasts.

“At Rue La La, one of the ways we like to think about our mobile app customers is to give them something exclusive,” said Feng Chang, senior manager of digital marketing strategy at Rue La La. “We want people to adopt the app even more, so we’re giving them opportunities to shop some of the items even before they hit the desktop sales.”

Optimizing mobile checkouts
Rue La La’s mobile Web site and mobile app cater to different types of users with varying needs. Nevertheless, the brand ensures it maintains mobile-specific features that help drive sales and conversion rates.

Ms. Chang said that Rue La La’s mobile app has the higher conversion rate, since the mobile site is typically a gateway for first-time customers. Over 50 percent of the retailer’s traffic stems from mobile, with more than half of its sales originating from smartphones.

Rue La La uses a custom optimized checkout platform, which has worked well for the marketer thus far. However, it is still looking to make improvements resulting in even more seamless purchasing, be it changing the color or size of the “buy now” button.

Users can save their credit card details after their first transaction and enjoy a quicker checkout process for subsequent purchases. Customers interested in buying limited-quantity products have responded well to the process, which only requires a few taps of a finger.

However, the executive admitted that her brand’s consumers prefer longer checkout forms instead of the one-click “buy now” option.

“We actually went to a longer checkout instead of presenting a ton of information that may overwhelm users,” said Jessica Gillespie, senior manager of digital marketing at “For us, we found that they prefer multiple screens with easy decision-making.”

Rue La La also keeps mobile engagement high by offering exclusive features to entice consumers to become loyal app users.

One feature available in the mobile app only is the ability to save your size preference. This enables app users to more readily identify if a desired product is available in their size, which in turn allows them to quickly complete a checkout if there are limited quantities left.

Delving into live chat
Another way of making the purchasing process easier on smartphones is to leverage tactics such as live chat, in-app messaging and push notifications.

“What’s really interesting about mobile is the increased amount of traffic we have there,” Rue La La’s Ms. Chang said. “We’re always working on increasing that conversion rate.”

The Moxie executive, who counts American Eagle Outfitters as one of his company’s biggest retail clients, revealed that live chat has pushed mobile conversions for the brand even higher. While live chat is inherently a useful desktop feature, the functionality is paramount for mobile users.

“The conversion rate from live chat is approximately 90 percent,” said Eileen Shulock, vice president of ecommerce at Kirna Zabete. “Generally, it’s a sizing question or something with a finite answer.”

Rue La La does receive a plethora of calls from customers with specific questions, but is also aiming to market to digitally savvy consumers by integrating live chat, which is currently available on its desktop site, into its mobile properties.

“We’re looking to cater to a user more adept at using mobile apps,” Ms. Chang said.