April 24, 2009, 12:00 AM

ShopNBC takes a first step into bringing e-commerce to the iPhone desktop

The TV retailer has debuted a mobile app for iPhones enabling shoppers to view daily promotions, products showcased only once, and items currently or previously on air. The retailer says this is only the first version, with more functionality to come.

ShopNBC.com has joined the handful of retailers blazing a trail in the application arena of mobile commerce. The TV retailer has introduced the ShopNBC App for iPhone and iPod Touch users, available for free at Apple Inc.’s App Store.

ShopNBC.com is taking a step-by-step approach in the realm of mobile applications. This first version of the mobile app, which offers zoom-in technology, focuses on the retailer’s best promotion of the day, called “Our Top Value.” It also features “Once-Only’s,” items that appear only one time and in some cases are never showcased again.

The ShopNBC application also enables shoppers to preview items being broadcast live or to review up to 12 items that were previously aired. And the app offers profiles of the network’s TV hosts.

The mobile app from ShopNBC.com, No. 65 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is not yet fully transactional. To place an order, shoppers call the merchant at an 800 number on display. If a user wants to browse or search for more products, a link in the app connects them to the e-commerce site, ShopNBC.com, through Apple’s Safari web browser.

“The ShopNBC app is part of the company’s mobile strategy, which is part of a broader ‘ShopNBC Anywhere’ initiative,” says Keith Stewart, president and CEO. “This is our first step into the mobile platform. Down the road we will expand the functionality of the app to most likely include video, search and browse, social media, and order status, which is great when expecting a package.”

Mobile applications afford a richer experience than using a browser to access a mobile commerce site because the software resides on the consumer’s phone and can take advantage of the computing power of advanced handsets like the iPhone.

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