October 22, 2010, 3:59 PM

Zappos.com steps into the realm of the iPad

The shoes e-retailer launches an iPad shopping app. But beware the kitty.

Lead Photo

The Zappos.com iPad app gives shoppers access to the shoes and accessories retailer's entire catalog of products.

Shoes and accessories e-retailer Zappos.com has joined a small number of merchants with iPad apps. Its app, available for free in Apple Inc.’s App Store, enables shoppers to browse, search and buy its entire catalog of products.

Launched earlier this week, the app, built in-house, has since garnered 10,000 downloads, putting it into the top 10 iPad apps in the App Store, Zappos.com reports.

The app was designed to enable a simple shopping experience making use of the iPad’s unique functions, such as rotational screens and pinch-zoom, and works in both portrait and landscape modes. All purchases are routed through Zappos.com’s secure servers just as they are on the e-commerce site.

Customers can shop on the iPad by categories including: shoes, clothing, beauty, bags and handbags, accessories, housewares, new products and gift cards. Zappos.com customers also have full access to their existing account information including stored payment types, shipping addresses, favorites and order history.

“The goal of the app was to deliver a simple shopping experience on the coolest device on the street,” says Ian Klassen, mobile program manager. “The app does its darndest to deliver the same wow service that Zappos.com is known for, in a fun, convenient and innovative way.”

App users are in for a surprise if they shake their iPad while shopping—a shower of kittens rain down on the screen. Zappos’ kitten is something of a mascot. The kitten pops up, for example, after an unsuccessful site search, letting the shopper know that no results could be found.

Zappos.com, owned by Amazon.com Inc., also operates an m-commerce site optimized for iPhone users. Klassen tells Internet Retailer that the company will be addressing whether to build sites optimized for other mobile operating systems in its 2011 strategic roadmap. He also says Zappos is actively exploring the use of text messaging.

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