It’s only been a week and Jackthreads.com is a true mobile commerce success story.
Consumers have downloaded the merchant’s new iPhone and Android shopping apps 65,000 times, the members-only apparel e-retailer reports, and consequently the app has appeared in the top 25 free apps lifestyle section list in Apple Inc.’s App Store.
The apps generated 1.5 million page views this week, the e-retailer reports, with customers visiting on average eight pages. 65% of consumers who downloaded the app used it multiple times during the week.
And most important: 20% of the merchant’s total sales came through the mobile apps in the first week, compared with 10% in 2011 from customers shopping the non-optimized e-commerce site on mobile devices, says Jackthreads.com, No. 440 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
One of the most difficult challenges with apps is discovery: Once a retailer’s app is accepted by Apple’s App Store, for example, it is thrown in with half a million other apps. So how do customers even know an app exists?
Through heavy promotion. Jackthreads.com on Jan. 24 sent to its 1.6 million members an e-mail marketing piece dedicated solely to its app, built by Fueled Mobile Design and Development. It announced the new app on its Twitter and Facebook pages. It promoted it on its sister site Thrillist, an online and e-mail lifestyle publication with three million subscribers. And through a concentrated public relations effort it got some free press, too, such as an article in Internet Retailer.
“Our success can be attributed to the fact that our guys had been patiently waiting for this app for awhile, and so when it launched we had our 1.6 million-member audience excited to check it out,” says Jason Ross, Jackthreads.com founder and CEO. “We’re also targeting an audience of young, urban men that way over-index in mobile, so the majority are app-savvy and in tune with this way to shop.”
Regardless of how mobile-savvy the Jackthreads.com audience is, retailers across the board can learn a major lesson from the merchant: If you launch an app, you’ve got to shout out loudly that it has arrived.