May 5, 2011, 11:22 AM

Retailer can’t contain itself when it comes to mobile commerce

The Container Store launches an m-commerce site to add to its multichannel strategy.

Lead Photo

The merchant's home page features five main elements that enable customers to quickly find what they're looking for.

Recognizing the growing power of the mobile sales channel, and continuously escalating traffic to its e-commerce site from mobile devices, The Container Store Inc. has launched a mobile commerce site to serve consumers who opt to use their smartphones to shop. The storage and organization products retailer, No. 308 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, stresses mobile as being part of its multichannel approach to commerce, which includes 49 stores, a catalog and an e-commerce site.

On the site, built by mobile commerce and social commerce technology provider Usablenet Inc., shoppers can browse, search and purchase The Container Store’s collection of nearly 10,000 organization products from any Internet-enabled mobile phone.

The site bucks the trend of having a list of product categories in horizontal bars up and down the home page screen. Instead, the home page showcases a hero image directly below a site search box. The current image highlights The Container Store’s “Spring Organization Sale.” Below the image are three buttons: Shop By Category, Organize With Elfa, and Find a Store Location. Elfa is the retailer’s best-selling brand of organization products. Touching Shop By Category takes a shopper to a long list of categories in bars that often appear on the home page of other retailers’ m-commerce sites. Focusing a mobile home page on a handful of elements is a good strategy for retailers concerned with home page download time, a crucial first impression, mobile site performance experts say.

The m-commerce site offers a variety of features and functions. Shoppers, for example, can use the Click & Pickup service that allows consumers to order items from their phones for pickup in a store. They also can check real-time, in-store product availability, and use the store locator to find nearby locations.

“We want to be there for our customer when she needs us. That’s why it is so important that our mobile site provides key features such as product search, product ratings and reviews, and our invaluable Click & Pickup service, along with a quick way to find and get to our stores,” says Catherine Davis, direct marketing director at The Container Store. “We expect that our customers will embrace this new way to shop with us, and that it will increase frequency of customer visits and loyalty to our brand. We know our customers are always on the go, and now they can quickly browse our thousands of organization products from anywhere.”

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