Why Finish Line ran with Unbound Commerce

From Internet Retailer

After considering several options for getting started in mobile commerce, The Finish Line Inc. chose to work with Unbound Commerce because the vendor could quickly leverage technology the running shoes company had deployed on its e-commerce site, the retailer’s director of e-commerce Scott Reasinger said today at the Mobile Commerce Forum in Chicago.

Finish Line has solid in-house technology expertise for its e-commerce site and its 700 stores, but it learned that developing a mobile site raised more questions than it was comfortable addressing, Reasinger said. A major challenge, he added, was figuring how to leverage its existing technology to support a mobile commerce site. “The mobile platform is very different,” he said.

The retailer operates its e-commerce site, FinishLine.com, on an e-commerce platform from Art Technology Group Inc. The site uses several integrated applications, including customer reviews from Bazaarvoice, site search and navigation from Endeca Technologies Inc. and Omniture analytics from Adobe Systems Inc.

One option would have been to update its ATG platform to use ATG’s mobile commerce platform, but that would have required extensive development work to integrate with the Bazaarvoice, Endeca and Omniture applications, Reasinger said.

By choosing Unbound Commerce, which offered pre-integrations with these applications, the retailer was able to get its mobile site, m.finishline.com, up and running in six weeks from the date it signed on with Unbound, Reasinger said.

Finish Line also considered building a mobile site through transcoding, a method of re-sizing the web pages of a retailer’s e-commerce site for a mobile phone screen. But the Unbound’s mobile presentation method facilitates building more functionality designed specifically for the mobile site, Reasinger said. After deploying its mobile site, for example, Finish Line was able to go back and improve the functionality of features such as its store locator, which can show in-store product availability as well as store locations.

Although the mobile site hasn’t yet produced the high conversion rate that Finish Line had expected, it has been effective at driving significant volumes of visitors to its e-commerce site and stores, Reasinger said.

The Finish Line is No. 166 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Unleashing mobile commerce-driven revenue opportunities for Yahoo! Stores

Unleashing mobile commerce-driven revenue opportunities for Yahoo! Stores
Unbound Commerce announces the availability of its new mobile commerce service: Mobile Presence™ for Yahoo! merchants. Developed with the support of Yahoo! Small Business, this new offering makes it easy and cost-effective for merchants to deploy a mobile commerce site, and is seamlessly integrated with their Yahoo! store. Mobile Presence from Unbound is a complete service, including mobile-optimized product catalog and shopping cart, and is cost-effective for almost any merchant. Fees are $50 – $125 / month, plus a one-time fee of $300 for basic implementation.

“Our merchants are very aware of the growth in mobile internet usage among their buyers. Mobile commerce came through as one of the top priorities in our market research,” said Paul Boisvert, Director of Product Management at Yahoo! Small Business. “Unbound Commerce’s platform has proven to be a great fit with Yahoo! Merchant Services. We received very positive feedback from the market trial we just ran with Unbound. We are delighted that Unbound Commerce is now releasing the product to all interested Yahoo! merchants.”

SERVING THE ANYTIME/ANYWHERE CUSTOMER
More Selling Opportunities, More Revenue

Mobile commerce lets your buyers reach your store – any time and any place a need or urge arises. Online retailers will fall behind if they insist that their customers can purchase and interact only when they are behind a desktop or a laptop computer. Unbound’s new mobile commerce merchants report on their experiences:

“Cyberweld’s customers are professionals and hobbyists, working in the field or in the shop. They aren’t spending a lot of time behind a PC,” notes Bob Goodliffe, President of J.W. Goodliffe & Son, who operates http://www.Cyberweld.com. “Our mobile site lets us reach them where they are doing their work, and when they are most likely to find that they need the products we sell.”
“Our customers were telling us that their computer usage at work is being monitored, cutting down on personal use. Including buying our candy!” reported Pam Macharola, a partner at Blair Candy (http://www.BlairCandy.com). “We have so many more chances to interact with customers if they can check out our products on their breaks or at lunch.” Blair Candy sells bulk candy, and candy not often found in local stores, online to both retail and wholesale customers. “Our new mobile site is so easy to browse by phone, and our customers have really taken to it. It’s been profitable for us since the very start.”
The Director of Retail & E-Commerce at a prominent DC-based Museum notes that “Our customers are into technology and gadgets, so mobile is a must for us. The initial response is beyond what we expected. For example, visitors to the Museum purchase items from our Museum Store on the way out, but sometimes there’s not enough time to shop. Our new mobile site lets them take our product catalog along with them in their pocket, allowing us an opportunity to engage with them, and for them to make purchases on their way home.” “We’re surprised at how much traffic we’re seeing from smartphones,” says Mike Eldridge, President, Safety Glasses USA (http://www.safetyglassesusa.com). “Our customers are at job sites. I really like the idea that they are able access us from anywhere.”
EASE OF DEPLOYMENT, EASE OF OWNERSHIP

Unbound’s mobile commerce solution for Yahoo! merchants is designed to be very easy to deploy. “Going mobile has been really hands off for us,” reports David Hauser, President of ABC Underwear (http://www.ABCUnderwear.com). “All we’ve had to do was to make sure our product categories lined up with what we wanted. Easy for us, and ten times easier for our mobile customers. The integration is absolutely seamless.”

“It’s been really easy,” says Mike Neff, Director of E-Commerce at Sports Unlimited, a full line Internet sporting goods retailer (http://www.SportsUnlimitedInc.com). “It’s clear that Unbound has done all the leg work for us. This is one of the easiest e-commerce initiatives we’ve ever done.”

Srinivasarao Nandiwada, CTO of Unbound Commerce, points to the importance of the seamless integration with Yahoo! Merchant Solutions. “We’ve taken great pains to make certain that this is painless for our customers. Merchants only have to manage their products on Yahoo!, just as they already do, and the mobile site automatically stays up to date with new products, prices and availability. Orders placed on mobile use the Yahoo! shopping cart, but formatted for mobile, so that merchants can handle their mobile-generated orders just as they do their online ones.”

The Director of Retail & E-Commerce at a prominent DC-based Museum summarizes: “This has been a BIG win for us, and a very positive experience to date. It was very smart of Unbound Commerce to develop a cost-effective solution for this customer base, and definitely a win for Yahoo! store merchants.”

THE 3X EFFECT: MOBILE-INFLUENCED SALES

Merchants want to see a hard ROI from their mobile commerce initiatives and Unbound Commerce’s customers are getting that. Mike Neff of Sports Unlimited offered: “Of course, we’ve noticed the growth in our mobile visitors over time. Since we’ve deployed our mobile site, not only have visitors greatly increased, but mobile conversion rates have gone up 500% and AOV increased by 27%. Mobile is giving us a 1.25% cost of sale for mobile-competed orders. I’ll take that any day!”

But looking only at mobile-completed orders misses a big part of the story. “Retailers that deploy mobile-optimized sites benefit all their channels,” notes Keith Lietzke, Marketing VP at Unbound Commerce. “Our customers find their mobile product catalogs are an on-ramp to their call centers. One of our largest retailers reports that nearly 1% of mobile site visitors place calls to their call center. Mobile retailers also observe their customers using their mobile phones to find products that interest them, and then buy them later online.”

“Our call centers are now getting inbound calls from customers who found us through mobile search,” reports David Hauser, President, ABC Underwear. “We never got these calls before we deployed our mobile site. The other benefit we’re seeing is that customers at our competitors’ brick & mortar store can check our prices before making a purchase there.”

A prominent DC-based Museum notes that their mobile site has lead to increased responses from their email marketing campaigns. Compelling e-mail offers opened on mobile devices are often saved to “favorites” so that orders can be placed at a later time, resulting in a longer order cycle and slightly higher sales conversion.

At the recent Mobile Commerce Forum, sponsored by Internet Retailer, Forrester estimated that the value of mobile-influenced sales exceed mobile-completed orders by at least a factor of 3 for most retailers.

Dover Saddlery Harnesses the Power of Mobile Commerce

Leading Equestrian Retailer Is Unbound’s 125th Mobile Commerce Client

 

Unbound Commerce announced today that Dover Saddlery, the leading multichannel retailer of equestrian products in the US, is the newest retailer launching a mobile commerce site based on Unbound’s unique, integrated approach.

Dover Saddlery is the milestone 125th Retailer using Unbound Commerce to capitalize on the surge in purchasing by consumers via smartphone.

“We have noticed a dramatic increase in mobile visitors to our site, and wanted to be sure we were converting these customers by providing the best possible mobile experience” reports Jason Loy, Director of Ecommerce at Dover Saddlery.

“Our customers are active people – in the stable and the field; or at horse shows,” added CEO Stephen Day. “Mobile is a great way to connect with them. By being more convenient, by providing anytime-anywhere service, we can capitalize on mobile’s unique ability to serve our customers whenever and wherever they have a need.”

Dover Saddlery selected Unbound Commerce for their mobile site because “Unbound made it easy and cost-effective,” said Jason Loy. “We found Unbound’s solution to be the most effective way to leverage the e-commerce assets we have to deliver the mobile customer experience we want.”

Dover had a high-level vision for the kind of customer experience they wanted, and mocked up a design for their mobile pages. “We then used Unbound’s expertise to refine and complete our requirements and to implement the mobile site for us, basing the solution on our current online assets,” said Jason Loy.

The new mobile site is scheduled to launch in mid-February. It will be found at m.doversaddlery.com or from any mobile browser at www.doversaddlery.com.

About Unbound Commerce
Unbound Commerce is a leading provider of mobile and social commerce solutions, designed for Retailers seeking to reach their customers anytime and anywhere. Unbound’s unique approach treats mobile as a powerful new channel, not merely as a smaller version of the standard site or as a function to be outsourced. Unbound customers benefit from a solution directly under their control and integrated into their existing e-commerce operations.

The 2011 issue of the Mobile Commerce Data Book from Internet Retailer shows Unbound Commerce as the top mobile commerce vendor with an industry-leading number of mobile web deployments for Retailers. Unbound Commerce’s approach also delivers a social commerce application for Facebook, allowing consumers to buy where they connect through social media. For additional information, please visit us at www.UnboundCommerce.com.

About Dover Saddlery
Dover Saddlery, Inc. (NASDAQ: DOVR) is the leading multichannel retailer of equestrian products in the United States. Founded in 1975 in Wellesley, Massachusetts, by United States Equestrian team members, Dover Saddlery has grown to become The Source® for equestrian products. Dover offers a broad and distinctive selection of competitively priced, brand-name products for horse and rider through catalogs, the Internet and company-owned retail stores. Dover Saddlery, Inc. serves the English rider and through Smith Brothers, the Western rider. The Source®, Dover Saddlery® and Smith Brothers® are registered marks of Dover Saddlery.

PRESS CONTACT: Keith Lietzke
klietzke@unboundcommerce.com
617 935 5216