Tablet users are growing more accustomed to purchasing via mobile devices, according to a report based on CoffeeTable’s Couch Commerce Index. The catalog shopping app company reported strong 2012 fourth quarter buying trends, along with impressive results of its own. Not only did shopping by tablet users increase 37 percent from the 2011 fourth quarter to the 2012 fourth quarter, but CoffeeTable’s own brands expanded from 27 to 200.
CoffeeTable acts as a connector between businesses still accustomed to the “catalog” method of displaying products and the mobile crowd with small screens and impatient fingers, where catalog spreads are rarely met with approval. The company allows brands like Coldwater Creek, Bowflex and Harry & David to publish their catalogs on the CoffeeTable mobile platform, and provides real-time analytics so these businesses can judge the efficacy of their latest tactics in the mobile world.
The test for tablet buying was the holiday season of 2012, and it passed with more than flying colors. On Christmas Day, for example, Flurry Analytics found that tablet/smartphone activations reached 17.4 million, compared to the average 4 million per day for the rest of December. Businesses capitalizing on this holiday browsing trend saw similar leaps in success.
CoffeeTable launched a loyalty program feature in December 2012 and saw engagement levels rise by 300 percent. This program awarded shoppers points for enrolling as Insiders, favoriting catalogs and products, and saving catalogs to their profiles. As points mounted, shoppers earned badges, access to exclusive sales and chances to win product giveaways.
With the sharp rise in tablet user confidence, such a loyalty program proved the perfect addition at just the right time. The point-based, interactive feature awarded customers for common browsing activities such as liking items or saving their favorite catalogs, actions that may not count as direct sales but could lead to future sales and build loyalty. It incorporated the strengths of social network games, fan pages and promotions in a single, mobile-oriented package. Retailers benefited too, as CoffeeTable handled the complexities of the offering itself while its independent retailers simply arranged the deals and discounts to be offered for the loyalty program.
This sort of synergy is an ideal solution for mid-sized retailers with strong brands but minimal involvement in mobile purchases. When a third party can provide such excellent, engagement-driven services, brands can focus on core competencies. Everyone, including the customer, wins.
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