The future may hold far fewer and radically redesigned stores, analysts say.
Parent company Systemax switches vendors and launches fully transactional sites.
For two years the mobile sites of TigerDirect, CompUSA and Circuit City have been just that—mobile, no commerce. Today that changes with the launch of fully transactional m-commerce sites for all three brands belonging to Systemax Technology Group North America, No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
The merchant was having difficulties enabling commerce with its previous mobile technology vendor, which it declines to name. It switched to Branding Brand. What made Branding Brand the winner was not just its ability to easily enable full commerce capabilities, but what it could do with the data it scrapes from the e-commerce site to build the m-commerce site, says Lonny R. Paul, vice president of marketing and strategic initiatives at Systemax.
“Branding Brand is a young, very nimble company with incredible technology,” Paul says. “The unique thing about the company is they can combine their content management system with the data they scrape from the e-commerce site that they use to create the m-commerce site and store it all in a portfolio that can be used for other things. So I can ask them for a Facebook store, an iPhone app or an iPad app and the time for them to go live would be much shorter than going with someone else.”
The sites today begin a 10-day testing period and can be accessed through their m-dot domains, for example, m.TigerDirect.com. The merchant will automatically begin redirecting to the m-commerce site consumers who type in just the regular URL when the testing period is over. Paul has a vociferous group of very loyal TigerDirect customers test driving the m-commerce sites; Systemax expects these customers to provide the kind of extensive feedback they have in the past with beta versions of other sites.
Systemax is launching the three m-commerce sites in time for the holiday shopping season, and Paul says he expects “big things” from mobile commerce.
"Mobile is an increasingly large percentage of the web shopping population,” Paul says. “It was really necessary for us to step up to the plate to make sure customers can shop the way they want to.”
And that has been the driving force at Systemax in recent weeks. Paul says the mantra around the company has been, “Mobile first.”
“Everyone is realizing how dependent we all are on our mobile devices,” Paul says. “We can say with confidence that we spend more time on our phones and tablets than on our desktops.”