City Gear drives mobile experience forward with new app, platform
Photo courtesy of City Gear.
Consumers are running to mobile when it comes to retail shopping, and City Gear is responding with a new mobile commerce platform strategy and an enhanced app for providing a more dedicated smartphone driven brand experience.
The omnichannel urban footwear and apparel retailer, which launched its ecommerce presence in 2014, initially provided smartphone consumers with basically a "lite" mobile version of its website. It soon realized such an approach wasn't providing the needed, and expected, mobile retail experience.
"Our mobile selling strategy has been in place since we came into the ecommerce game in 2014. Many of our customers prefer cash transactions, making ecommerce difficult. Web hosting and promotion opened our audience up to a much wider swath than we were used to," City Gear Digital Marketing Manager Charles Gray shared in an email interview with Retail Customer Experience.
So, City Gear went shopping for a partner and is tapping Shopgate's software-as-a-service solution. The retailer's mobile marketing effort included developing a custom app that would let City Gear better serve the mobile shopping consumer.
"From a technology standpoint, Shopgate was a perfect fit for our mobile commerce goals," explained Gray. "Shopgate has also been extremely attentive and always present through our app development and beyond, and that is really what we sought for in a technology partner."
The app, which is City Gear's first mobile software effort, is now playing a critical role in the retailer's mobile marketing strategy, said Gray.
"With a dedicated app, we're able to create and promote a space free from issues lost in translation between desktop and mobile browsers. Furthermore, an app creates a new environment for the user to feel submerged in and catered to that mobile sites rarely can inspire," he explained.
Deploying a dedicated smartphone experience is critical in today's retail marketplace, added Gray, as it helps City Gear stand apart from competitors.
"For most mobile stores, it's so easy for it to feel like the mobile version is just a lite version of the main site or brand. Investing in an app has allowed us to create a unique space for our brand that is wholly its own. Furthermore, we're able to host unique content and deals that provide both special purchasing opportunities, as well speaks into the culture with a dedicated cultural page."
Now that the app is up and running, City Gear's focus is on establishing a push notification strategy that will allow it to segment customers and keep them engaged with curated content, release news and provide special offers.
"Our main goals are to bring people to the app with good and relevant content, to reach an ambitious weekly open and visit average, and to have a high conversation rate of visitors downloading and opening the app," said Gray, who also shared advice to other retailers aiming to boost the mobile retail experience.
"Don't be afraid to test, and test often and make sure all other third-party companies can align with your app development company," Gray said, adding it's a good best practice to form the potential strategy and KPI goals before taking any formal steps.
Topics: Customer Experience, eCommerce, Loyalty Programs, Marketing, Merchandising, Mobile Retail, Omnichannel / Multichannel, Online Retailing, Retail - Apparel, Shopper Marketing, Specialty Stores, Technology
Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.www