May 26, 2010, 2:09 PM

Rue La La gets app-happy with new mobile offerings

The invite-only merchant debuts not one but four mobile shopping apps, for the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android. And the iPhone app enables information sharing via “bump” technology, where two consumers strike their phones together.

Rue La La, an invitation-only private sale e-commerce company, is blasting into the realm of mobile apps, not just with one app, which typically is the case with retailers, but four. The merchant has launched mobile app versions of its e-commerce site for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry, and Google Inc.’s Android.

In addition to offering the features and functions found on its e-commerce site, which hosts 48-hour boutiques, the iPhone and iPad apps offer integrated Facebook and Twitter features that allow members to share shopping tips and invite friends to join Rue La La.

What’s more, Rue La La, No. 103 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is among the first retailers to use Apple’s “bump” technology, integrated into the iPhone app. When a consumer with the Rue La La iPhone app up and running bumps her phone against another consumer’s iPhone, the originating device sends the app and other information to the receiving device. The information passed between phones is encrypted and leverages the same security employed in online banking, the retailer says.

“Rue La La is excited to deliver complete shopping mobility to our members allowing them to experience the thrill of accessing their favorite brands when our boutiques open at 11:00 a.m. no matter where they are,” explains Ben Fischman, CEO. “We have answered their call of urgency by providing the unparalleled shopping experience found from their desktops with the most popular mobile devices.”

Rue La La entered mobile commerce in 2009 with the introduction of m.RueLaLa.com. Rue La La now has additional resources to expand in mobile commerce from its new parent company, e-commerce technology provider GSI Commerce Inc. Rue La La’s mobile expansion represents a key component of GSI’s overall mobile commerce strategy, the vendor says.

“GSI is excited about the power of the mobile platform as a driver of e-commerce,” says Michael G. Rubin, founder and CEO of GSI. “We are in the unique position to harness the power of the mobile channel on behalf of both consumers and brands through our different businesses. The recent acquisition of mobile marketing company M3 Mobile by e-Dialog coupled with Rue La La’s launch of total mobility demonstrates our belief in the power, potential and positive impact of the mobile channel.”

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