February 23, 2012, 9:08 AM

Five-fold increase in mobile traffic spurs a retailer to act

U.K. furniture retailer Heal’s puts its store on smartphones.

Kevin Woodward

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

The m-commerce site includes a store locator function.

It’s a tale familiar to many e-retailers. As traffic to their web sites from smartphones increases, they build a mobile commerce site to make their sites more accessible to consumers on the go. That’s why United Kingdom-based furniture retailer Heal’s launched its m-commerce site this week.

“We were seeing an increasing amount of consumers accessing Heals.co.uk via mobile devices,” says Mike Trail, head of e-commerce. In October, traffic from mobile devices to Heal’s e-commerce site hit 15% of total traffic compared with just 3% in October 2010. “We felt strongly that having a mobile-optimized web site was important to give our customers using smartphones a better, faster and easier shopping experience.”

The home page of the site, developed with m-commerce technology provider Digby and e-commerce technology provider Venda Inc., features a hero shot just below the search box at the top of the page. From there, consumers scroll down to view and select product categories to reach product detail pages. The m-commerce site also sports Facebook, Twitter and e-mail sharing. Heal’s used Digby because Digby and Venda previously worked together and Heal’s has been using the Venda e-commerce platform, Trail says. Heal’s would not disclose the cost to develop its m-commerce site.

The Heal’s m-commerce site uses Digby’s Localpoint Storefront technology that enables consumers to search and browse a site. Venda sends product information via data feeds, ensuring product availability is consistent with the information on the e-commerce site, Digby says. The Digby technology also provides a store locator so shoppers can find the six Heal’s stores. A consumer presses the store locator tab on the site to select from the list of stores.

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