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Why Beyond the Rack is betting big on tablets

SAN ANTONIO, TX – A Beyond the Rack executive at eTail West 2014 explained why tablet experiences are the brand’s next big push given how the device owners generate the best revenue per visit.

During the “A 360-Degree View of Mobile” session, the executive laid out the brand’s mobile strategy and which tactics are most effective. Additionally, the executive spoke about different trends and statistics about mobile’s impact on revenue.

“[A tablet-optimized site] is from my point of view, the next evolution in terms of where marketers are going to put their chips,” said Richard Cohene, director of marketing at Beyond the Rack, Montreal.

“Instead of just focusing on all of the best practices on mobile Web, they’re going to start paying attention to the tablet Web as well,” he said. “Coming soon, and I mean in the next couple of weeks, it will be deployed, we’re just doing some final [quality control].

“Hopefully that will continue to push what is already our best revenue-per-visit platform further down the funnel and have an even better user experience and continue to grow for mobile.”

Building for bigger screens
Currently, Beyond the Rack has a tablet site that is tweaked slightly for a better shopping experience, but the structure of the site is not developed for tablets specifically.

With the new site that is specifically designed for the full-size iPad, all of the features that are set up to get consumers to check out are within the thumb’s reach and include the right pixel size so that consumers do not accidentally click on wrong buttons.

Tablets bring in roughly 20 percent of Beyond the Rack’s revenue.

While the devices are bringing in the lowest amounts of traffic, the revenue per visit is significantly more.

Per Mr. Cohene, a tablet user is worth roughly $2 per visit, desktop users are worth $1.50 and mobile users are worth about a $1.10, which is why the brand wants to over-invest in tablets.

Beyond the Rack has a mobile site and launched an iOS app in November (see story).

In February, the iPhone app represented 2.5 percent of revenue, and the iPad app contributed to 3.5 percent of sales.

This shift in sales happened without much marketing behind the apps, showing how consumers are increasingly expecting their favorite brands to have mobile apps and sites.

Beyond the Rack has also attached its personalization engine to the app. Forty percent of the brand’s app users have opted-in for push notifications.

Now, the company is implementing mobile app tracking software to acquire new registrations and users.

The month that Beyond the Rack rolled out mobile products, transactions from a smartphones and tablets jumped from 12 to 21 percent. Roughly 30 percent of sales were coming from mobile at the end of 2013.

The brand is also seeing a significant percentage of consumers opening emails from their mobile devices. Close to 60 percent of Beyond the Rack’s emails are opened from a smartphone or tablet, and Beyond the Rack is utilizing responsive design to increase click-throughs.

A screenshot of Beyond the Rack’s iPad app

Thinking mobile first?
Similar to other online and flash retailers, acquiring member sign-ups is a key goal for Beyond the Rack with mobile.

The company is using a variety of ad networks to do this, but tracking a consumer and understanding which part of the purchase funnel they are in is a challenge.

Mr. Cohene also split up Beyond the Rack’s sales by device and time of the week.

“During the weekdays, 59 percent of our sales are happening on desktop, and most of the balance is happening on tablet and mobile Web,” Mr. Cohene said.

“And then on the weekends, you can see 52 percent, which is a drop compared to the weekdays, and on the tablet and mobile device, you can see the percentage climb particularly on the tablet because people move away from their office computers and start buying on their more passive devices,” he said.

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