October 20, 2011, 3:17 PM

Shoplet delivers with an m-commerce site

The CEO says the company can no longer ignore mobile commerce.

Kevin Woodward

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

The m-commerce site prominently displays the e-retailer's replenishment service called Schedule & Save.

Because Shoplet.com is a web-only business, it is critical that the merchant enables all consumers, not just most, to successfully access the site. That is one reason why Shoplet.com CEO Tony Ellison insisted on a mobile-optimized web site—accessible by anyone with a mobile web browser—for the office supplies retailer’s foray into mobile commerce.

“We can’t ignore mobile anymore,” Ellison says.

When checking supplies in a supplies closet or throughout an office, an office manager can tap items on the m-commerce site and order them right away instead of writing a note or trying to remember what to order when returning to his desk, Ellison says.

The m-commerce site home page prominently displays a Schedule & Save button beneath a search box. Schedule & Save is an option for scheduling future deliveries of a product at a discounted price. Users select the option when they add an item to the shopping cart. The bottom of the home page has buttons for product categories, such as furniture, paper and cleaning supplies.

Developers spent three months researching mobile commerce sites, pondering whether to deploy an m-commerce site or a mobile app and if a vendor should be used or the mobile offering developed in-house.

Shoplet.com ruled out mobile apps because of the time it would take to develop them for multiple phone operating systems and the subsequent additional cost that’s of maintaining them as those phone platforms evolve. An m-commerce site enables a consistent appearance across multiple mobile devices, Ellison says.

Shoplet.com staff and MyBuys Inc., a personalization technology company, built the site. “They were able to port over the features from our e-commerce site,” Ellison says. Development took about six months, he adds. The site went live in late September.

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