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Rue La La Thanksgiving Day mobile sales increase 75pc year-over-year

Flash sales site Rue La La saw a record amount of traffic and sales during Thanksgiving Day last week with mobile playing a key role.

Rue La La claims that 50 percent of overall sales made on Thanksgiving Day came from mobile devices. In particular, Apple’s iPad is proving to be a powerful, commerce-driving device.

“At Rue La La, mobile sales have continued to grow throughout the year, so we were not surprised that our members were purchasing products through mobile,” said Steve Davis, president of Rue La La, Boston.

“However, the big surprise for us was how early they began shopping and the different times of day that they were shopping,” he said. “We kicked off our holiday sales at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and we saw our biggest Thanksgiving Day traffic and sales in our history. On Black Friday and throughout the weekend mobile traffic saw record highs with mobile traffic exceeding traffic from desktop and laptop computers.”

Flash sale
Similar to other retailers this holiday season, Rue La La started its holiday sale on Thanksgiving with its Holiday Dash sale.

The early start to Thanksgiving promotions points to the growing number of consumers that looked for online deals this year before hitting bricks-and-mortar retailers on Black Friday.

Half of the company’s mobile sales during Thanksgiving Day came from an iPad device.

Mr. Davis attributes the large percentage of iPad-driven sales from the device’s larger screen size and convenience. Additionally, the exec claims that Rue La La members are twice as likely to shop on a tablet rather than on a smartphone.

On Black Friday, Rue La La ran two promotions. Beginning at 8 a.m. consumers could shop from time-sensitive Boutique items. Then at 3 p.m., the company began a luxury boutique sale from brands including Hermes, Chanel and Cartier.

Fifty percent of Rue La La’s sales from Black Friday were made from a mobile device.

Mobile driver
Rue La La has significantly been working on its mobile strategy over the past year.

In October, the company updated its iPhone app to fit the larger iPhone 5 screen size. At the same time, Rue La La saw that mobile made up 40 percent of overall sales (see story).

Additionally, by increasing the use of push notifications, Rue La La increased its app user sessions by 25 percent earlier this year (see story).

“We have been talking about the year of mobile for the last few years, but this weekend was really the coming-out party,” Mr. Davis said.

“Consumers have been adapting mobile technology, particularly tablet, in record numbers and we saw trend across the retail space this weekend,” he said.

“At Rue La La, multiscreen customers are the new multichannel. Rue La La’s mobile and tablet applications continue to be a strong complement to our Web business with multiscreen customers consistently being our best buyers.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York