September 22, 2009, 12:00 AM

Ghirardelli lets loose a one-two punch as it enters m-commerce

Most retailers have first launched a mobile commerce site and followed it later with a mobile app, or they’ve just launched one or the other. Ghirardelli is unveiling both a site and an app for gift-givers.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. has joined the fast-growing number of retailers going mobile. And it’s done so in a big way.

Most retailers have first launched a mobile commerce site and followed it later with a mobile app, or they’ve just launched one or the other. Ghirardelli is throwing a one-two punch, unveiling both a site and an app.

To access the transactional m-commerce site, shoppers enter Ghirardelli.com in their mobile browsers and the e-commerce site automatically recognizes the mobile phone and type and redirects the shopper to the mobile-optimized site. The home page offers seven options from which to choose, including Chocolate Bars, Gift Baskets & Towers, Gift Baskets & Tins, Business Gifts, Browse All Categories, Download the iPhone Application and a click-to-call Order by Phone for those shoppers who prefer to speak with a customer service representative.

Like the site, the app offers quick access to the most popular products, detailed product descriptions and imagery, and secure transactions and password-protected purchasing. The app, though, offers a more colorful and rich experience than the site; and it automatically integrates with the iPhone user’s address book to speed the checkout process.

“The way our customers shop with us is changing, and we want to be as accessible and convenient as possible for them. With this app, sending a thank you gift to clients following a meeting can be done on your way out the door,” says Yvo Smit, vice president of restaurant and retail at Ghirardelli. “We have created a robust mobile web storefront in addition to the iPhone app, which has allowed us to extend our mobile capabilities to today’s most popular smartphone.”

Both the site and the app were built on the Digby Mobile Commerce Suite software-as-a-service platform by m-commerce technology vendor Digby. Digby integrated its platform with the retailer’s back-end systems, including product catalog and order processing.

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