The e-retailer gives a big chunk of the credit to apps it launched last year.
Bill Siwicki , Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce
Mobile commerce sales are up tenfold in the first half of 2013 compared with the first half of 2012 at Joss & Main, reports the flash-sale e-retailer, which declines to reveal exact sales figures. It credits the growth to greater sales overall at the company, the introduction of apps in Q3 2012, and a constantly growing number of consumers using mobile devices to open e-mails, where Joss & Main announces its daily, limited-time sales. 40% of total web sales now come through smartphones and tablets, the home decor web retailer says.
“Joss & Main is growing at a solid pace overall, so our baseline is up a considerable amount,” says Paul Toms, general manager. “Additionally, in June 2012 we introduced an iPhone app and an iPad app—we’ve seen almost 1 million downloads—and redesigned our m-commerce web site. We’ve invested a ton of time in improving the Joss & Main experience across all platforms and are very happy to see the results follow.”
Toms says the third factor behind the tenfold growth in mobile sales is the increasing number of customers opening the company’s marketing e-mails on mobile devices. Toms does not reveal e-mail figures, but marketing firm Experian Marketing Services in a recent study found that 50% of marketing e-mails overall are opened only on mobile devices. Mobile e-mail plays into flash-sale e-retailers’ edge in mobile commerce, as these e-retailers offer limited-time sales that consumers can easily access anytime and anywhere on a smartphone.
“A big part of Joss & Main’s business comes from our daily event e-mails, and e-mail continues to go more and more mobile,” Toms says. “But we’ve also put hooks in place in e-mails, and on our site, that drive our users straight from the e-mail to the app if they have it installed. We really feel like the app experience is the best Joss & Main experience that you can have on a phone, so we make a concerted effort to direct our members there whenever possible.”
Usually e-mails read on smartphones link consumers to mobile web sites; e-mails read on tablets go to the desktop version of a site or a tablet-optimized site. But a small number of retailers have learned how to make an e-mail when clicked on a smartphone or tablet check the device for the retailer’s app, and, if present, open the app and send the consumer to the appropriate screen. If the app is not present, the e-mail then redirects the consumer to the appropriate version of the retailer’s web site. Toms says redirecting e-mail readers to apps requires including a custom mobile protocol in marketing e-mails.
50% of Joss & Main purchases made through apps come from the smartphone app and 50% come from the tablet app, the company reports.
Joss & Main is No. 37 in the newly published Internet Retailer Mobile 500, with estimated 2013 mobile sales of $85.0 million, up 224% from $26.2 million in 2012, the Mobile 500 says.