Site traffic and sales deriving from mobile devices both are increasing substantially year over year. Aligning with this trend, The Container Store saw mobile site traffic to the company web site increase 62% between 2011 and 2012.
With further growth and demand anticipated for 2013, The Container Store has unveiled a new mobile-optimized site that includes more robust features and interactive capabilities. As a result, consumers will have a “more seamless experience, no matter how they decide to shop,” according to Jessica Coogan, Online Marketing Director for The Container Store.
“Our customers use the mobile channel not only to purchase products, but also to do their research,” Coogan said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We know our customers may hear from us in a variety of ways — through catalogs, emails, our web site and in our stores. We want to ensure we are conveying a consistent brand message through all channels, and our main goal is to allow our customers to personalize their shopping experience with us.”
Extending Desktop Experiences To Mobile Devices
The new mobile experience, developed in partnership with Usablenet, offers mobile consumers access to tools and features initially only available on The Container Store e-Commerce site.
An improved mobile homepage includes more visual navigation icons that link to specific product categories, which provides consumers with access to a wider variety of products on their devices.
“Customers now have access to many more features and inventory through our mobile platform than they have received in the past,” Coogan explained. “The nine icons on the homepage screen will feature our elfa products, our blog, store locations, catalogs and an easier way to shop new items.”
Previously, consumers “had limited control” over how they shopped and shared content via mobile, Coogan noted. In fact, “our former mobile site didn’t provide much access to all the fantastic features and products a customer could find on our full site.”
U-Control, the content publishing tool on the Usablenet platform, also will allow The Container Store to quickly update site banners, mobile promotions and navigational icons based on consumer trends. Now, the retailer can highlight as many as six different campaigns and promotions at the same time on the mobile homepage.
“The nine icons on the homepage, along with the banners at the top and bottom of the page, are completely controlled by us and can be changed at a moment’s notice,” Coogan said. “We constantly monitor the metrics of our site and UControl will help give us the ability to react quicker to our business environment.”
For example, if consumers aren’t clicking on specific icons, The Container store can “easily switch it out with something that may be more appealing to shoppers,” Coogan explained. The retailer plans to continually test and track customer preferences “to ensure we are providing our customers with the information they want to see.”
Focusing On Social Customer Interactions
To determine which attributes and product categories to include in the new mobile offering, The Container Store “closely monitored” total visits and sales generated on all sections of the full desktop web site,” Coogan reported. During the research process, “we also noticed our customers are engaging with us more on our social channels than ever before, so we knew we needed a large social presence on the site.”
In an effort to deliver on customer wants and needs, The Container Store added a series of social and interactive elements that “give our loyal customers the ability to become more engaged with our brand,” according to Coogan.
For example, consumers now can use their mobile devices to share products across social networks, as well as via email. The retailer Twitter feed also is accessible via a dynamic overlay, so consumers won’t be re-located to another page if they want to stay updated on the brand’s social posts. A new ratings and reviews section also helps customers garner insights on potential purchases, as well as share their personal feedback on products directly through their smartphones.
Mobile “hotspot” technology included on the mobile homepage is designed to help The Container increase engagement and traffic for new products and promotional campaigns. Consumers can click on banner image hotspots to access specific products and pricing information. Consumers then have the option to leave the homepage and view more detailed product content.
Using the hotspot technology, “we are able to highlight a campaign, as well as specific products within the campaign, all in one banner,” Coogan said. “In doing so, we can make the shopping experience easier for mobile customers, and in turn, hopefully increase our mobile sales.”