Approximately 70% of Americans are expected to celebrate Halloween this year, up from 63.8% in 2010, according to results from the National Retail Federation’s “2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.” To better reach Halloween celebrators nationwide, BuyCostumes.com, a costume, accessories and décor provider, rolled out a mobile optimized site; and based on early results, the retailer expects to set Halloween sales records. The new storefront was developed and launched in early October 2011 in partnership with Usablenet, a mobile and multichannel engagement solution provider.
The m-Commerce site was designed to give shoppers access to more than 20,000 items in the BuyCostumes.com inventory and replicate the search, product view and customer service functions of its web site. Like the web site, it also allows users to narrow a search based on category and view numerous high-resolution costume images. “The most important goal of the BuyCostumes.com mobile site was to recreate an easy shopping experience that enables customers to find the costumes, accessories and décor they want,” Nick Taylor, CEO of Usablenet, told Retail TouchPoints.
The Usablenet mobile solution helps retailers recreate all aspects of their e-Commerce site, including high-resolution image galleries, specifically for mobile phones and personal digital assistants. Other Usablenet customers include Estée Lauder, Sprint, JCPenney and Victoria’s Secret.
During October, BuySeasons, Inc., the parent company of BuyCostumes.com, set a company goal to ship approximately 60,000 packages per day to customers worldwide. Shortly following the roll out, BuyCostumes.com experienced a surge in sales, according to Terry Rowinski, COO of BuySeasons. “We have exceeded last year’s peak shipping day and, with the season coming to a close, we believe we will continue to set organizational records,” he said.
With the mobile optimized site, BuyCostumes.com also experienced an increase in overall conversion rates and a reduction in the number of inbound contacts related to customer service. Due to the success of the rollout, BuySeasons executives are evaluating the launch of an m-Commerce platform for all company brands in the first half of 2012, Rowinski noted. “We used this initial launch to understand what our customers desire on a mobile platform versus our full e-Commerce site so that we can be flexible and responsive to customer and market demands.”