March 9, 2011, 3:33 PM

Underwear giant jockeys into position to sell via mobile

Jockey is launching an m-commerce site, smartphone app and iPad app.

Lead Photo

The merchant will launch an m-commerce site, iPhone app and iPad app by the end of the week.

Executives at underwear kingpin Jockey International Inc. were simply waiting. Waiting for the day when mobile devices like smartphones outsold desktop PCs. That day came recently and Jockey set an ambitious mobile plan in action, developing an m-commerce site, iPhone app and iPad app. All three will launch by week’s end.

“We’ve been watching industry statistics during the last few years, and Q1 was the tipping point,” says Chris Smith, vice president of e-commerce, catalog and interactive at Jockey, No. 370 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “We wanted to make sure we gave the customer the best web experience regardless of what device they’re coming to us on.”

Smith says that another part of the decision to go mobile was the increasing number of customers opening Jockey e-mails on smartphones. Direct digital marketing firm Knotice recently reported that 20% of retailer marketing e-mails are opened on a mobile device.

“A lot of people open their e-mails on mobile devices, and when they click through they’ve been getting the e-commerce site experience,” he says. “Now we can serve up content with the mobile site that is much better suited for a mobile device.”

The m-commerce site enables consumers on smartphones to browse, search and buy items from Jockey’s entire product line. The iPhone and iPad apps are designed around Jockey’s latest catalog, which it publishes six times a year. App shoppers can browse the catalog and, when they find an item they’d like to purchase, they touch the item onscreen and are linked to the m-commerce site where they can add to cart or make the purchase. Jockey web developers integrated their e-commerce platform with the m-commerce platform from Digby to enable mobile shopping.

When it comes to apps, Smith has his eye on the iPad, believing it will play a significant role in e-retailing in the years to come.

“The iPad is the perfect blend between a desktop and a smartphone,” he says. “Things just look better. And Apple in general makes products that are easy to use and very intuitive.”

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