October 12, 2010, 2:53 PM

Why Finish Line ran with Unbound Commerce for mobile

The running shoes retailer chose a vendor that could leverage its existing e-commerce technology.

Lead Photo

Scott Reasinger

After considering several options for getting started in mobile commerce, The Finish Line Inc. chose to work with Unbound Commerce because the vendor could quickly leverage technology the running shoes company had deployed on its e-commerce site, the retailer’s director of e-commerce Scott Reasinger said today at the Mobile Commerce Forum in Chicago.

Finish Line has solid in-house technology expertise for its e-commerce site and its 700 stores, but it learned that developing a mobile site raised more questions than it was comfortable addressing, Reasinger said. A major challenge, he added, was figuring how to leverage its existing technology to support a mobile commerce site. “The mobile platform is very different,” he said.

The retailer operates its e-commerce site, FinishLine.com, on an e-commerce platform from Art Technology Group Inc. The site uses several integrated applications, including customer reviews from Bazaarvoice, site search and navigation from Endeca Technologies Inc. and Omniture analytics from Adobe Systems Inc.

One option would have been to update its ATG platform to use ATG’s mobile commerce platform, but that would have required extensive development work to integrate with the Bazaarvoice, Endeca and Omniture applications, Reasinger said.

By choosing Unbound Commerce, which offered pre-integrations with these applications, the retailer was able to get its mobile site, m.finishline.com, up and running in six weeks from the date it signed on with Unbound, Reasinger said.

Finish Line also considered building a mobile site through transcoding, a method of re-sizing the web pages of a retailer’s e-commerce site for a mobile phone screen. But the Unbound’s mobile presentation method facilitates building more functionality designed specifically for the mobile site, Reasinger said. After deploying its mobile site, for example, Finish Line was able to go back and improve the functionality of features such as its store locator, which can show in-store product availability as well as store locations.

Although the mobile site hasn’t yet produced the high conversion rate that Finish Line had expected, it has been effective at driving significant volumes of visitors to its e-commerce site and stores, Reasinger said.

The Finish Line is No. 166 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

 

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