June 23, 2011, 10:48 AM

HauteLook readies holiday mobile programs

The flash-sale retailer will add an Android app and expand payment options.

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Flash-sale retailer HauteLook says it expects iPhone and iPad log-ins to the members-only site to triple in December compared with the same month last year and is making improvements to its mobile applications to prepare for the holiday rush.

Aiming to be fully mobile during the fourth quarter, the e-retailer says it will roll out its first mobile app optimized for Android users this fall and is taking feedback from the approximately 250,000 consumers who have downloaded its Apple-optimized app since it launched last fall to help guide further mobile improvements.

“We are responding to user feedback to develop a number of new features for the apps ready for the holidays,” says David Sobie, vice president of business development for HauteLook. “This includes initiatives to make the app load faster and run faster, offer PayPal as a payment method and offer larger photos—anything that will streamline the holiday shopping experience.”

Sobie says that although nothing is finalized, the e-retailer may offer some sales exclusively to consumers who have downloaded an HauteLook mobile application. “The objective would be to drive first-time usage of the app, as we know app users are some of our best customers,” Sobie says. 10% of log-ins at the site come from mobile consumers, Sobie says, and those shoppers make 15% of total weekday purchases and 20% of weekend purchases.

He says the idea for a mobile app-only sale stems from the e-retailer’s success in social marketing. The e-retailer ran a Facebook-only sale in December, for example, that prompted 36,000 consumers to click the Facebook Like button; 40% of the transactions for the Facebook-only sale came from first-time customers.

In the run-up to the holidays, the e-retailer also will aggressively market the availability of its mobile apps to consumers not signed up for HauteLook as a way to draw new customers to the site, Sobie says. Until now, HauteLook has focused marketing its apps to its existing member base of 2.5 million consumers.

HauteLook is No. 156 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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