November 30, 2009, 12:00 AM

Just in time for Cyber Monday, eight retailers launch m-commerce sites

CB2, Crate and Barrel, Crutchfield, Dooney & Bourke, Fossil, OfficeMax, REI and Sunglass Hut have launched mobile commerce sites just in time for the holiday season.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

There’s been an explosion of m-commerce site launches at Usablenet. The mobile technology vendor has announced the debut of eight new mobile retail sites, including five heavy hitters from the Internet Retailer Top 500.

The five top 500 merchants launching mobile commerce sites include: Fossil, No. 213. (PDF versions of the companies’ financial and operating profiles can be ordered by clicking on their names.) The other three retailers launching m-commerce sites are CB2 (a property of Crate and Barrel), Dooney & Bourke and Sunglass Hut.

All of the retailers, Usablenet reports, wanted to get their sites open by today, or Cyber Monday, in time for the holiday shopping season. Customers can use the sites to browse, search, shop and buy, as well as track orders and use other rich features and functions.

Crate and Barrel opted for two web sites for its two distinct brands. It recognized the evolving landscape that has been changing so quickly in 2009, a landscape where shoppers are increasingly using mobile phones, especially smartphones, to browse the web, and shop.

“Our goal at Crate and Barrel is to create a simple, streamlined mobile experience that is uniquely branded and consistent with our web sites,” says Dave Widmer, senior manager of Internet at Crate and Barrel and CB2. “We strive to continually support our customers wherever they are-and increasingly, they are mobile.”

To access any of the eight new mobile commerce sites, shoppers enter the same URL as the conventional site into their mobile browsers. Entering CrateAndBarrel.com, for example, will ping the server, which automatically redirects the shopper to the mobile-optimized version of the Crate and Barrel site.

“Crate and Barrel’s complete mobile offering exemplifies the highest standards a retailer can put on customer service,” says Nick Taylor, president of Usablenet.

The solution used by all eight retailers, Usablenet Mobile, leverages the features and functionality of a company’s existing e-commerce site to create a mobile version. The company says the process takes no longer than six weeks and requires no I.T. or web design resources from the retailer.

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