November 18, 2010, 4:42 PM

Unbound Commerce officially unveils m-commerce for Yahoo stores

Yahoo gives the mobile tech provider the go-ahead after a successful trial run.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

After a months-long market trial with 20 retailers, Unbound Commerce is officially unveiling its mobile commerce platform for retailers running their web stores on the Yahoo Merchant Services e-commerce platform. Dubbed Mobile Presence for Yahoo, the mobile technology, which displays a merchant’s entire product catalog and enables complete purchases, was developed with the support of Yahoo Small Business and allows merchants with Yahoo stores to go mobile quickly.

Setting up a store goes quickly because of the integration work Unbound Commerce and Yahoo already have performed as part of the technology offering. And costs are relatively low: Retailers pay a one-time implementation fee of $300 and then a monthly fee of $50 if they’re on the Yahoo standard platform or $125 if they’re on the Yahoo professional platform.

“Our merchants are very aware of the growth in mobile Internet usage among their buyers. Mobile commerce came through as one of the top priorities in our market research,” says Paul Boisvert, director of product management at Yahoo Small Business. “Unbound Commerce’s platform has proven to be a great fit with Yahoo Merchant Services. We received very positive feedback from the market trial we just ran with Unbound.”

Word from retailers in the market trial—there are now 70 retailers using the mobile platform—has been positive.

“Of course, we’ve noticed the growth in our mobile visitors over time,” says Mike Neff, director of e-commerce at Sports Unlimited. “Since we’ve deployed our mobile site, not only have visitors greatly increased, but mobile conversion rates have gone up 500% and average order value has increased 27%.”

But looking only at mobile-completed orders misses a big part of the story, Unbound Commerce says. “Retailers that deploy mobile-optimized sites benefit all their channels,” says Keith Lietzke, marketing vice president at Unbound. “Our customers find their mobile product catalogs are an on-ramp to their call centers. One of our largest retailers reports that nearly 1% of mobile site visitors place calls to their call center. Mobile retailers also observe their customers using their mobile phones to find products that interest them, and then buy them later online.”

Other retailers from the market trial of Mobile Presence for Yahoo say they are now poised to reap rewards as mobile web usage soars:

  • “Our new mobile site is so easy to browse by phone, and our customers have really taken to it,” says Pam Macharola, a partner at Blair Candy. “It’s been profitable for us since the very start.”
  • “Our call centers are now getting inbound calls from customers who found us through mobile search,” reports David Hauser, president of ABC Underwear. “We never got these calls before we deployed our mobile site. The other benefit we’re seeing is that customers at our competitors’ bricks-and-mortar stores can check our prices before making a purchase there.”
  • “Cyberweld’s customers are professionals and hobbyists, working in the field or in the shop. They aren’t spending a lot of time behind a PC,” says Bob Goodliffe, president of J.W. Goodliffe & Son, which operates Cyberweld.com. “Our mobile site lets us reach them where they are doing their work, and when they are most likely to find that they need the products we sell.”

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