Retailers have been looking for some time for a way to make wireless e-commerce work. OfficeMax Inc. believes it has found the product--software for the very wireless devices that customers shop on.
OfficeMax.com this week launched a mobile commerce specialty boutique through which consumers can purchase and download mobile-ready software via over-the-air electronic fulfillment. The boutique was built on Officemax.com by technology platform and e-commerce services provider Digital River. Digital River also is providing transaction management, e-marketing services, fraud prevention, customer service and over-the-air electronic fulfillment. Mobile-ready software initially available from the m-commerce boutique includes games and personal and small business financial management applications.
Downloading the software from the boutique via wireless requires the use of a new Java-enabled device, says Digital River chief technology officer Gary Howorka. The devices, just being launched by Nokia and other makers, have a built-in WAP micro-browser that keeps them connected to the Internet. Some, Howorka adds, incorporate a mobile electronic wallet that communicates credit information to merchants with the touch of a button. “From that point, payment proceeds like a regular credit card transaction,” he says.
“Though Digital River’s model, we’ve been able to leverage our existing e-commerce infrastructure to add a new store, increase our revenue potential and extend the OfficeMax brand to more consumers,” says Ryan Vero, executive vice president of merchandising, marketing and OfficeMax.com/direct. “We’re excited about working with Digital River to open channels to the m-commerce software market.”