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Wide Open Spaces launches mobile site to support flash sales

As a hunting and fishing retailer, Wide Open Spaces’ customers are often away from home engaging in their favorite sports, creating the need for a mobile site enabling users to take advantage of the site’s time-sensitive deals no matter where they are. The new site is integrated with the retailer’s Magento ecommerce back-end platform.

“As a flash sale site, Wide Open Spaces has a rolling array of time-sensitive deals from their brands and, as such, their customers must be able to convert sales wherever and whenever they happen to be,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston.

“They cater to outdoors people and are serving deals to clients who are literally on the water or in the field when they make the purchase,” he said. “Mobile is a perfect vehicle for these countdown offers and Wide Open Spaces serves up to a dozen new deals each day.”

Omnichannel engagement
Wide Open Spaces, Austin, TX, has seen its mobile traffic increasing quickly and wanted a mobile experience that would accommodate the rapid growth.

The retailer worked with Unbound Commerce to leverage and extend its current ecommerce infrastructure into mobile and still be able to treat mobile as a separate channel.

The mobile site was built using a deep, enterprise-level API-based integration with Magento’s ecommerce platform. It is not a screen scrape or a clone of the main site.

Integrating the mobile site with ecommerce back-end platform enables Wide Open Spaces to treat mobile as a different and unique channel.

“We believe this site of one of the first of its kind and allows Wide Open Spaces to treat mobile as a key element of its omnichannel engagement strategy, without being handcuffed to the ecommerce site, where buying behaviors are different,” Mr. Kerr said.

Time-sensitive deals
Mobile is playing a key role in driving sales for flash sales sites. For example, Gilt sees more than 30 percent of overall revenue and half of the site’s daily traffic coming from its apps and mobile site.

Mobile volume can climb even higher on certain days, with Rue La La reporting that 50 percent of overall sales made on Thanksgiving Day came from mobile devices.

“For flash sale sites, mobile is extremely important, as consumers cannot be tied to their desktops when a time-sensitive deal is posted or set to expire,” Mr. Kerr said.

“EBay is expected to do $20B in mobile sales in 2013, for this same reason,” he said. “Wide Open Spaces saw this opportunity, is now reaping the benefits, and we were pleased to have been selected for this complex, integrated build.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York