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Jason AllenVice President, Multichannel StrategyGameStop
While mobile commerce accounts for a larger share of ecommerce, accessing the web through a mobile device is also driving sales at some brick-and-mortar locations. Jason Allen, vice president of multichannel strategy at GameStop, the video game, consumer electronics and wireless services retailer, spoke with eMarketer’s Lisa Barron about the company’s mobile initiatives.
eMarketer: How important are mobile sales to your overall mobile strategy?
Jason Allen: We focus less on direct mobile sales and more on the sale. We absolutely measure the people who come to us on a mobile device and purchase from a mobile device. That is much fewer than the number of people who come through a mobile device, research a product and then purchase that product from a store within 48 or 72 hours. So we’re more focused on influencing sales because that’s the bigger piece of the pie.
eMarketer: Is your site mobile-optimized?
Allen: Yes, although there is still a lot of opportunity. We’re in the middle of a project right now to make our mobile-optimized site much better. [Right now] I would call it fair at best. We launched a new app in July 2014 and have had great results from that, and we’re in the middle of finishing up an m-dot project to bring our mobile site up to par with some of our other services and experiences for our customer.
eMarketer: Are you considering a responsive-design site?
Allen: Yes, absolutely. To us, responsive is more than just a design conformed to a space on a smaller device. To us, responsive is all about the features and functionality, too. What we found by looking at our consumer data is that folks visiting from a mobile device don’t want a giant website in front them to navigate. They have their top three to five activities that they want to take advantage of.
A truly responsive mobile site not only takes the content and the features and creates a function and form that fits on a mobile device, but it also prioritizes the actual features and options we provide the customer. It’s not just a redesigned website. If we know that 90% of our mobile users don’t use this feature, let’s not let it get in the way of the ones that they do use.
eMarketer: How significant is mobile to your overall ecommerce strategy?
Allen: It’s important, [but] we really have a multichannel strategy, so we don’t focus on ecommerce sales. We focus on driving and maximizing sales across all channels. That being said, as we turned our focus to a multichannel strategy, our direct ecommerce business grew in strong double digits. It’s fascinating. An example would be that three years ago when you would go to GameStop.com or our mobile site, you would never ever see any information about trading in, because at that time the team was focused on driving online-only P&L, and they couldn’t take trading online.
We removed all those blinders and said now that we can track how we’re driving influence in stores, we don’t care where the dollars get booked, let’s let the customers shop when, where and how they want. We turned our focus to the broader influence that the sales are driving, and in doing so, our ecommerce business grew as well.
To more directly answer your question, three years ago, 40% of our online ecosystem traffic was coming from a mobile device. In 2014, it was 60%. Certainly it is very important for us to deliver an experience on a phone that meets our consumer needs and delivers great experiences. If a customer wants to use a phone to go buy something from a store, we want to support that. We’re not interested in changing their purchase preferences. We’re interested in enhancing and allowing them the ability to do that.
We’re focused on making sure that we’re delivering the right experiences for mobile, and I would say we’re doing a great job of that right now in the app. We’ve got an OK mobile site that needs a lot of work, and we’re almost done bringing that to par with some of the work we’ve done on the app.
eMarketer: What experiences does your app deliver or enhance?
Allen: The No. 1 most important experience for the app is making it easy for our customers to research and find products. We track our cross-channel attribution, and when we launched the new app, we saw huge improvements not only in direct sales, but in-store influence sales. We look at that data to figure out what are the features on our mobile app that customers are most attracted to.
No. 2 is, for years, customers wanted to look up trade values of their old products and we would only give them a page that shows the Top 100. With the launch of the mobile app, we launched a trade center, which allows customers to look up any of their games, electronics or hardware and get a trade value. It instantly became our third-highest trafficked [area] in any of our online channels that led to in-store transactions.
No. 3, we had the ability for our customers to look at their preorders and their reservations. The preorder business is a big business for us on a mobile device, but it was very clunky, and the data wasn’t accurate. We fixed that.
No. 4, we also made it easier for them to order a product online and pick it up in-store. While we had that limited functionality on our app previously, it was very hard to use. So we redid that entire process, and we’ve seen more than a 1,000% lift in pick up in-store requests from mobile phones. We’ve had examples of customers who were in their car, drove up to a GameStop, saw there was a line at the counter, sat in their car and did a hold and pick up in-store so when they walked in, all they had to do was pay and pick up the product.
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