August 10, 2011, 5:02 PM

Backcountry.com hikes into new territory with an iPad app

The merchant says shopping on the app is better than on its e-commerce site.

Lead Photo

A partial view of the merchant's vast iPad app home screen offerings.

Outdoor gear e-retailer Backcountry.com says its customers are always on the move—hence the outdoors—and are up on the latest technologies. This is why it has built an app for Apple Inc.’s mega-popular iPad tablet PC.

In fact, the app trumps the e-commerce site, Backcountry.com says. The iPad application is simpler, more streamlined and more modern than the online store, the merchant says.

The app must be viewed holding an iPad horizontally. By swiping up and down on the home screen a shopper can view 19 product categories set off with vibrant images. A right-hand column features brand logos through which customers can swipe. Product listings contain large images; product details screens, which pop up above the listings, offer alternative images, videos, customer reviews and technical specifications. Shoppers can add an item to their carts without leaving the product screen.

“This app fits the nature of Backcountry.com customers. They’re active and they’re tech-savvy,” says Peter Eischeid, mobile product manager at Backcountry.com. “Millions of people in the U.S. are making purchases on their iPads. Now there’s no reason for gear lovers not to join the revolution.”

The retailer spells out what it sees as a common Backcountry.com mobile commerce scenario. Friends are driving through Colorado to Baja with all their gear packed in the truck. In Pueblo they suddenly realize they forgot the tent. One of the travelers pulls out his iPad, opens the app, orders the tent, and has it shipped overnight to general delivery at the Post Office in Yuma, where he can pick it up before crossing the border.The Backcountry.com iPad app is the second mobile app from the retailer. Daily deal sister site SteepAndCheap.com offers an iPhone app. Also, Backcountry.com has an m-commerce site accessible through its regular URL, which detects mobile devices and redirects them to the mobile-optimized version.

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