November 15, 2012, 4:52 PM

Dell gets ready for a mobile holiday

The computer maker unveils specially optimized tablet and smartphone sites.

Lead Photo

The tablet-optimized site replicates the print catalog in appearence and product selection.

With more consumers using smartphones and tablets, mobile commerce is on the rise—and computer maker Dell Inc. wants to be in the middle of it. That’s why Dell has created its first tablet-optimized catalogs and smartphone mobile commerce sites for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, all of which are available now.

Dell’s timing is right, as a recent survey from consulting firm Deloitte LLC found that 68% of smartphone owners plan to use their devices for holiday shopping this year.

The digital catalogs, including a Gift Guide issue, reside on Dell.com and use the HTML5 programming language so that any consumer, regardless of the mobile browser he’s using, can view them, says Brandon McGee, director of mobile for Dell globally. The catalogs use artwork from the print versions, but formatted for the web, he says.

For example, taking advantage of mobile touchscreens, consumers can tap an item in the digital catalog to learn more about it via a pop-up box. A tap on the Customize or Buy buttons in that box links a consumer to the product detail page for the item on the e-commerce site, where the consumer can then make a purchase.

Mobile marketing firm Joule helped Dell create the tablet-optimized catalogs.

The sites for Black Friday, the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, the Monday after that which is one of the busiest online shopping days, feature countdown timers. When the clock reaches zero, consumers will be able to visit Dell’s mobile commerce sites set up specifically for these two shopping events, McGee says. The sites are located at Dell.com/BlackFriday and Dell.com/CyberMonday.

McGee says Dell’s promotional efforts include marketing messages on Dell.com, e-mail, social media, print and paid media. Some ads will feature bar codes, such as Quick Response codes, that consumers can scan using apps on their smartphones to visit Dell’s mobile commerce sites.

And while McGee would not share data about traffic or conversion rates for consumers using tablets and smartphones, he says the volume of that traffic has increased dramatically over the last couple of years.

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