June 17, 2011, 12:39 PM

IRCE 2011 Report: Mobile will drive a quarter of HauteLook traffic by the end of 2011

E-retailer HauteLook says one-fifth of weekend sales come from mobile devices.

Lead Photo

David Sobie, vice president of business development for e-retailer HauteLook, speaks at IRCE 2011.

Just seven months after HauteLook launched its iPhone app and mobile commerce site, mobile has redefined how consumers interact and buy from the flash-sale e-retailer, said David Sobie during his presentation today at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.

Sobie, vice president of business development for HauteLook, said 250,000 consumers have downloaded the mobile application and are using the app and the retailer’s mobile site to shop whenever and wherever they may be. He said 15% of weekday purchases and 20% of weekend purchases now come from mobile and that the company projects that 25%-30% of all site traffic will come from iPhone and iPad users by the end of 2011. “The traffic is something we can’t ignore,” he said. “Mobile is not an added feature. It is its own platform and we need to learn and build on this success.”

HauteLook is continually improving upon its iPhone app, which took six months to develop, Sobie said, and the company will launch an app for Android users this fall. Sobie said consumer feedback is prompting HauteLook to find ways to make product images on mobile larger while at the same time speeding page load times. It is also working to make it possible for consumers to track their shipments via the app.

Sobie described HauteLook’s target consumer as a career woman in her mid-20s to early 30s with a higher than average income and an iPhone; HauteLook calls her Jessica. “We asked ourselves, ‘How can we make sure we spend five minutes with Jessica every day?’” Sobie said.

A consumer who uses the HauteLook iPhone app and opts in to receive sale alerts gets a notification each morning when new merchandise is available for purchase. “We have our mobile capabilities so we never miss Jessica just because she’s not in front of her computer,” he said. “She may be standing in line at Starbucks or sitting in traffic. The limited inventory, timed element of HauteLook lends itself to a mobile experience.”

Sobie said its iPhone app also created a happy side effect for HauteLook, No. 156 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide. He said that although the e-retailer’s marketing for the app focused on messaging to current HauteLook members, the e-retailer gained thousands of new consumers because of the app’s presence in Apple’s App Store. He said these consumers found and downloaded the free app from the store and then used it to register as a member of HauteLook. Nordstrom Inc., No. 34, acquired HauteLook for $180 million earlier this year.

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