Costco Goes Mobile with Costco.com and Costco.ca (Addicted to Costco!)

I am amazed at how really usable the mobiles sites are for making purchases and finding information. It’s far better than a lot of mobile sites that I have tried to use and left in frustration. I especially like that they have carried over all of your customer information, including the login, from the full websites. Believe it or not, far too many mobile sites seem to act like they are completely different from the full website.... (read full story

Makeup Retailer Sephora Launches iPad Program (VentureBeat)

The iPads come with a custom Sephora app installed and give a buyer access to information such as whether a lotion gave anyone with a certain skin type a rash. Those with allergies can also find product ingredients through the in-store app. You can review purchase histories as well, in the case you want to buy the same blush you bought previously, but can’t remember the color’s name. (read full story

Google Exec: Sephora, eBay Really Embrace Mobile Across Multiple Tactics (Mobile Commerce Daily)

"Sephora and eBay both come to mind as marketers who really embrace mobile across multiple tactics," said Erin O’Neil Schultz, head of industry, retail, at Google, Mountain View, CA. (read full story)

The Year in E-Tail: Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead (WWD)

Sephora has a mobile site that is m-commerce compatible, an iPhone app that integrates with an in-store retail experience and a highly engaging iPad app that allows consumers to follow how-to videos that teach them how to apply various products.

"For us, mobile is something we felt was a huge customer service [tool] early on, so when the iPhone hit the market, it really changed the notion of what you can do with your phone and we built an app for that. In early 2011, we added an iPad app which leveraged the benefit of that device," said Julie Bornstein, senior vice president of Sephora Direct.

She calls mobile the bridge between a rich e-commerce and in-store experience, a tool that can enrich the brick-and-mortar component to the retail equation. "[We’re] creating an ecosystem that works together to ease the consumer’s shopping experience. You need to leverage all of these. Our product assortment is the same [across the various platforms] and the stories are the same, but the way people navigate and the tools they have to use on each of those devices is specific." (read full story)

10 Big Tech Ideas for Retailers (Information Week)

Released late last year, American Eagle's latest mobile app hits the usual checklist of features. It's integrated with the loyalty program, so customers can look up their points. It displays the latest catalog of merchandise. It lets customers scan barcodes to add those items to their wish list. It also delivers special offers and promotions, and is commerce enabled, so customers can buy from their phone. Oh, and it also lets customers upload pictures to Facebook so friends can weigh in on the new threads. (read full story)

Trends 2012: US Retail eBusiness (Forrester Research)

Sephora uses the iPad 2's forward-facing camera to give shoppers assistance with makeup. Benefit Cosmetics uses tablets to provide billboard-like messaging in stores. (read excerpt)

Ralph Lauren: Mobile Bridges Online Commerce with In-store Experiences (Mobile Marketer)

Ralph Lauren has used mobile as a way to bridge online commerce with in-store experiences, allowing the luxury brand to pave the way with today's modern and affluent consumers. (read full story)

Sephora Is Most Competent in Mobile Among Prestige Brands: Study (Mobile Commerce Daily)

Sephora leads in mobile competence on a new ranking from digital innovation think tank L2 of 100 prestige brands. Brands across several industries were reviewed and measured based on their mobile Web sites, mobile apps, mobile marketing as well as innovation and integration. (read full story)

High-end Brands Are Missing the Boat on Mobile, Study Finds (Mashable)

Despite the broad admonitions, there were some standouts in the index. Beauty retailer Sephora nabbed the top spot, thanks to its robust mobile site, and apps for iPhone and iPad devices. All three feature a rich, browsable library of how-to and inspirational video content, as well tools for online and in-store shopping. The iPhone app also features a barcode scanner and interactive tool that allows users to sample various hues of nail polish. (read full story) 

Prestige 100 Mobile IQ Report (L2)

Sephora has secured the top spot in L2's first-ever Prestige 100 Mobile IQ report. The ranking measures the mobile competence of 100 iconic prestige brands across five industries. (download report) 


Retailers Stuff their Stores with QR Codes (Internet Retailer)

Some retailers, such as American Eagle Outfitters Inc., No. 102 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300, used QR codes to prompt consumers to download the merchants' iPhone or Android apps. (read full story)

American Eagle Outfitters Ramps up mCommerce Strategy with iPhone App (Mobile Commerce Daily)

Retailer American Eagle Outfitters has rolled out an iPhone application that lets fashion-savvy consumers shop the latest looks and get exclusive deals via their mobile device. In addition to a mobile app, the company also has a mobile-optimized site. (read full story)

Holiday Shopping Nirvana Smells Like Teen Retail Rally (Forbes)

The apparel sector has also performed exceptionally well in Internet sales as retailers have woven their holiday marketing campaigns keeping Internet business central to their strategies. For instance, Gap kick started its holiday special site www.shopyourselfsocial.com and American Eagle launched its AE mobile app to woo online shoppers. (read full story)

American Eagle's Fast-growing Mobile Channel Boosts Store Traffic (RIS)

Mobile commerce sales at American Eagle Outfitters have more than tripled since last year, and the retailer is gaining added value by using mobility to strategically support its other channels, including its brick-and-mortar stores. (read full story)

Internet Retailer Top 10: A Mobile Mirror (Internet Retailer)

Sephora USA Inc.'s iPad app offers a feature impossible to duplicate on a conventional e-commerce site. The consumer activates Sephora's "mirror" feature, which uses the tablet's front-facing camera to show the consumer on the screen in one window, while in a window below she can watch a video of an expert applying makeup. The app, built by Branding Brand... (read full story)

Building an Amazing Mobile Shopping Experience with Google Commerce Search (Google Blog)

Branding Brand has worked with Timberland and—earlier this year—GNC to turn their mobile visions into reality. Before GNC optimized their mobile website, 10 to 15 percent of their e-commerce traffic came from mobile. Since launching it this summer, there are twice as many visitors using search, and mobile search conversions are up 50 percent. 


(read full story)

Growing the Google Commerce Search Family (Google Blog)

Branding Brand [is] a leader in the mobile commerce space who works with large multi-channel retailers to develop mobile and social commerce applications. The firm sought out Google when they heard about Google Commerce Search, as they knew it would deliver additional value to their customers. 

“Mobile users are often action-oriented--whether they’re locating a store, seeing what products are available nearby, or searching for a specific item–so it’s important to quickly provide relevant information in the proper context. Google Commerce Search allows us to do exactly this,” says co-founder Chris Mason. GNC was Branding Brand’s first client to launch with Google Commerce Search earlier this year, and here is what their CMO Jeff Hennion has to say about the results:

(read full story)

TigerDirect, CompUSA and Circuit City Mobile Sites Add Commerce: Parent Company Systemax Switches Vendors and Launches Fully Transactional Sites (Internet Retailer)

Branding Brand is a young, very nimble company with incredible technology," Paul says. "The unique thing about the company is they can combine their content management system with the data from the e-commerce site that they use to create the m-commerce site and store it all in a portfolio that can be used for other things." (read full story)

Branding Brand Receives Strong Competency Marks in Mobile Commerce from Independent Research Firm (PR Newswire)

Branding Brand today announced that the company has received strong competency ratings in a new Forrester Research report that surveyed the mobile commerce capabilities of 14 vendor companies in North AmericaEurope, the Middle East, and Africa....

"We are excited to be recognized by such an authoritative source," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand's co-founder and two-time entrepreneur. "We have the best technology, the best team, and a proven track-record of constant innovation. We're young, hungry, and tireless." (read full story)

Market Overview: Mobile Commerce Solutions for Retail (Forrester Research)

Branding Brand received the most "strong competency" ratings out of the 14 solution providers, with high marks in mobile web, Facebook, catalog and search, product discovery, shopping experience, multichannel tools, purchase/checkout, development tools, and integration tools. (read executive summary)

Benefit Cosmetics Tests iPad App In-store to Educate Shoppers on Products (Mobile Commerce Daily)

The in-store app lets consumers learn more about in-store offerings, search products and see what's new. Consumers can also browse and view ratings and reviews to see what other shoppers think of the products. Benefit worked with Branding Brand on the in-store iPad app. (read full story)

Bath & Body Works Bolsters Sales via Mobile Site (Mobile Commerce Daily)

The company rolled out the mobile site to stay on trend and keep up with the growing number of smartphone users. Branding Brand developed the mobile site for the company. (read full story)

Sephora Boosts mCommerce Strategy via Integrated Digital Beauty Experience (Mobile Commerce Daily)

Sephora North America has debuted a fully integrated commerce-enabled iPad app that lets consumers shop its beauty products in a magazine-like format. Branding Brand developed the app for Sephora. (read full story)

Mirror, Mirror on the iPad (Internet Retailer)

"This social shopping app streamlines content and commerce in one living, interactive place," says Nitin Mittal, managing partner at Branding Brand. "Leveraging HTML5, users can seamlessly engage with the app to add a new dimension to the catalog experience." (read full story)

Vitamin Shoppe Increases Purchase Intent via Live Local Mobile Inventory Offering (Mobile Commerce Daily)

The Vitamin Shoppe has enhanced its mobile-optimized site to let consumers view local product availability in search results. The company worked with Branding Brand to integrate Google Commerce Search Live Local Inventory features into its mobile site. (read full story)

Drugstore.com and Beauty.com Streamline Mobile Checkout Process (Mobile Commerce Daily)

"PayPal Mobile Express speeds up the purchasing process on mobile," Mr. Horowitz said. "This means fewer page loads and less information to type--two huge factors when shopping from a phone." (read full story)

Mobile Commerce Forecast: 2011 to 2016 (Forrester Research)

Many companies are finding that allowing outside experts at mobile optimization (e.g., Branding Brand...) to manage one's mobile presence is a much more tenable approach. (read full story)

Branding Brand Distributes Mobile Portfolio via Free iPods (PR Newswire)

Each new, 8G iPod Touch contains icons that link to a sampling of Branding Brand's clients. Over the last year, the company has launched over 1000 mobile commerce sites and apps, including work for Anthropologie, Bath & Body Works, GNC, Sephora, Steve Madden, and Vitamin Shoppe. (read full story)

Branding Brand Leads Industry in Multichannel Commerce, as Retailers Invest in More Than Just Mobile (PR Newswire)

"Exactly one half of our 52 clients have signed on for two or more integrations," said Chris Mason, co-founder of Branding Brand. "This means that in addition to a mobile site, retailers are also investing in apps, tablet sites, or Facebook commerce." (read full story)

GNC Supplements Mobile Site and App with PayPal Mobile Express Checkout (Internet Retailer)

Because they hasten the purchasing process in a setting where speedy checkout is key, alternative payments have the potential to boost mobile conversion rates, some experts say. That is the goal of Branding Brand, which has begun integrating the PayPal mobile payment mechanism with a variety of clients, GNC being the first out of the gate. (read full story)

GNC Streamlines Mobile Purchasing with PayPal Mobile Express Checkout (PR Newswire)

"Our technology makes it easy to automatically bring PayPal Express Checkout into mobile; and up until this point, nobody thought it was possible," says Chris Mason, co-founder of Branding Brand. "For those with PayPal Express Checkout on their e-commerce site, this is a game-changer for increased mobile conversion." (read full story)

Retailers Embrace Social Commerce (Wall Street Journal)

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and GNC Holdings have invited customers to spend money by shopping on company fan pages without ever leaving Facebook. (read full story)

JustFabulous Launches New Mobile Website (PR Web)

Members and non-members can now log onto JustFab.com from wherever they are with their smartphone. While non-members can sign up for the innovative service from their mobile devices, existing members can also manage their account, invite friends to join, rate their newest purchases and share their personalized boutiques on Facebook. (read full story)

Go Ahead, Push Me Around (Internet Retailer)

General Nutrition Centers Inc., aka GNC, uses push notifications in an ingenious manner. It's created a system within its mobile app that customers can program to remind them when to take the supplements and vitamins they've purchased. (read full story)

Deliver the Best Retail Mobile Website Experience (NRF Stores)

A highly functional mobile site and uninterrupted service are key to today's online success. During this live web seminar, industry experts will discuss strategies for your mobile site and how you can take steps to deliver a positive mobile web experience to your customers. (get webinar)

A Mobile Tech Vendor Uses Google to Boost M-Commerce Site Functionality (Internet Retailer)

In launching a mobile commerce site, General Nutrition Centers Inc., aka GNC, wanted to stand out from the crowd, by offering features and functions other retailers weren't. Its m-commerce technology provider, Branding Brand, had an idea: What if it integrated Google Inc.'s Google Commerce Search service, which offers some unique functionality, with its own mobile commerce platform? The vendor did, and GNC got what it asked for. (read full story)

As Mobile Commerce Matures, Site Testing Becomes More Important (Internet Retailer)

Branding Brand provides the web retailing functionality for about 1,000 web sites, including those operated by college bookstores, says company co-founder Joey Rahimi. (read full story)

Retailers Retool Sites to Ease Mobile Shopping (New York Times)

Bailey Vincent Clark, a 24-year-old writer and mother in Staunton, Va., shops on her phone for convenience, regularly buying Bare Escentuals makeup on Sephora's optimized mobile site because she can do it from anywhere, and quickly. (read full story)

Branding Brand Mobile Websites Perform Twice as Fast as Industry Average (PR Newswire)

"Mobile traffic is climbing at an extremely rapid pace, and user expectations are increasing as well," says Joey Rahimi, co-founder of Branding Brand. "Shoppers want mobile sites that deliver rich functionality and features, and at the same time, they want them to load quickly." (read full story)

Ready, Set, Scan: Businesses Turn to QR Codes as Marketing Method (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Branding Brand, which has 45 clients, is seeing more and more of its customers coming in looking for QR code campaigns, which can fit in easily with a client's existing mobile website, Mason said. "It's an interesting trend," Mason said. (read full story)

A Fun and Interactive Shopping Experience with Google Commerce Search 3.0 (Google Blog)

"The velocity of smartphone adoption has made the mobile channel increasingly important for retailers. GNC wanted a flexible solution that would provide the best in e-commerce search while allowing us to develop a unique mobile experience. Google Commerce Search allowed us to upgrade our mobile search solution in less than a week and deliver a faster, more targeted experience for our smartphone users." (read full story)

Branding Brand Joins Facebook Platform Preferred Developer Consultant Program (PR Newswire)

"It is an honor to earn the Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant title, especially with our focus on mobile commerce," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand's co-founder. "We always strive to be at the forefront of mobile/social development, and Facebook is an important part of the equation. Today, mobile is social, and social is mobile; you can no longer separate the two." (read full story)

Carnival Lets Consumers Book Cruises on the Fly via Mobile (Mobile Commerce Daily)

"When brands don't have a mobile site, they are ignoring this entire audience that is already trying to interact with them," Mr. Mason said. "Having a mobile site is like opening another door to your business." (read full story)

Drugstore.com Adds Four New M-commerce Sites to its Stable (Internet Retailer)

The web-only merchant, No. 46 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has launched mobile commerce sites for VisionDirect.com, AtHisBest.com, SexualWellBeing.com and TheNaturalStore.com. These come after the launch last year of m-commerce sites for drugstore.com and Beauty.com. All of the sites were built by m-commerce technology provider Branding Brand. (read full story)

GNC Takes Retail Strategy Multichannel with New Mobile Offerings (Mobile Marketer)

GNC is using the mobile medium to advance its multichannel retail support strategy to provide customers access to its health and nutrition-related products wherever and whenever. Both the mobile app and the site were created by Branding Brand. (read full story)

Drugstore.com Projects $750 Million Revenue by 2013 (Internet Retailer)

Drugstore.com Inc., an online retailer of healthy, beauty and vision products, says it expects annual revenue of at least $750 million in 2013, with mobile and social media helping the company get there. (read full story)

GNC Supplements its M-commerce Site with a Mobile App (Internet Retailer)

The app, built by m-commerce technology vendor Branding Brand, complements the m-commerce site the retailer launched in December. GNC's mobile site was also built by Branding Brand. (read full story)

Pittsburgh Ad Chiefs Pick Super Bowl Standouts (Pittsburgh Business Times)

Branding Brand Managing Director Chris Mason cited a digital trend rather than a specific spot. "This is the first Super Bowl I've watched where every single ad had a URL, a website for people to go to, and they put them on screen longer," Mason said. "Everyone is trying to find out if their Super Bowl ad gets them any traffic directly." (read full story)

Jeffrey R. Hennion Joins Branding Brand Board of Advisors (PR Newswire)

Hennion currently serves as the executive vice president and chief branding officer at General Nutrition Centers, Inc. (GNC) with responsibility for managing the company's marketing and e-commerce functions. Prior to GNC, he spent 10 years at Dick's Sporting Goods in a variety of positions, including executive vice president and chief marketing officer responsible for marketing and e-commerce, senior vice president, strategic planning, and vice president, finance, during the time the company completed its IPO. Hennion also spent 11 years at Alcoa, Inc. in a variety of corporate finance and treasury functions in the U.S. and Europe, including positions as assistant treasurer and director, investor relations. (read full story)

Widget Lets Retailers Repurpose Google Local Availability Data for Mobile (Internet Retailer)

Branding Brand has developed a "Find in Stores" widget that, for the first time, lets retailers repurpose Google Local Availability data feed for use on their own mobile sites. The widget allows shoppers to check an item's availability and find the nearest location for purchase. It is currently in use on Branding Brand-developed m-commerce sites, including Steve Madden and Vitamin Shoppe. (read full story) 

Download the Sephora App for iPhone and Get a Free iPhone Case (Beauty and the Blog)

Once you download the app, visit the weekly specials page to get the promo code. Or, go to any store and present the downloaded app on your iPhone to a Sephora employee. Now you can show the world how much you love Sephora while you’re shopping at Sephora on your iPhone! (read full story)

iPhone and BlackBerry Vie for Top Smartphone Spot (Internet Retailer)

"Although BlackBerry has been dominant for a long time in smartphones, it has not been the dominant platform when it comes to mobile traffic to retail sites," says Christopher Mason, managing director at Branding Brand, which builds mobile sites and apps and operates text messaging programs. "The iPhone has always been dominant, and Android has been growing fast." (read full story)

Steve Madden Takes Second Place: 2010 Mobile Marketer of the Year (Mobile Marketer)

"What marks Steve Madden's mobile efforts from its competitors' pushes is the attention to customer ease across all digital media - online and mobile meld seamlessly to create a shopping experience that is friendly and a credit to the footwear brand," said Mickey Alam Khan, editor in chief of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. (read full story)

Drugstore.com on Social Commerce (Forbes)

"It really starts off our sites - enabling our site features and functionality across mobile devices and platforms. We are working with a company called Branding Brand to develop device agnostic sites that allow users to access our sites on their terms." (read full story)

Steve Madden Posts Half-million Dollars in mCommerce Sales in 6 Months (Mobile Marketer)

A Steve Madden executive revealed at the Mobile Shopping Summit that more than 10.5 percent of his company's total Web traffic is coming from mobile devices, representing 250 percent growth over the past six months. (read full story)

Sephora Debuts an App with Bar Code Scanning and Video (Internet Retailer)

Branding Brand built the new app as well as the m-commerce site. Sephora started out with a site built by customer ratings and reviews provider Bazaarvoice; the site was dedicated solely to ratings and reviews. Sephora now has integrated Bazaarvoice into the Branding Brand site and app so Sephora's thousands of reviews remain accessible to mobile shoppers. (read full story)

Baby Phat mCommerce Site Refines Homepage with Cookied User Data (Mobile Commerce Daily)

MyBuys has partnered with mobile platform provider Branding Brand to build MyBuys mobile personalized sites. (read full story)

Sephora Redefines Shopping for Loyalists with Unique Mobile App (Mobile Commerce Daily)

The Sephora to Go mobile application melds the ease and functionality of the features available through the retailer's mobile commerce site. There are additional exclusive features just for the application such as scanning bar codes for product information and how-to videos. (read full story)

Getting Personal with M-commerce Sites (Internet Retailer)

Its pitch? A complete m-commerce site that boasts a mobile shopping experience customized to each shopper. MyBuys has teamed with m-commerce technology provider Branding Brand to build the m-commerce sites. (read full story)

Sephora Takes its Beauty Products Mobile (Internet Retailer)

Sephora used m-commerce technology vendor Branding Brand to build the Sephora Mobile site. The site enables customers to sign in on the m-commerce site to their e-commerce account using their e-mail address and password. The site provides access to default payment, shipping and billing information, enabling consumers to check out quickly. (read full story)

Jelly Belly Ups Conversion (Mobile Commerce Daily)

"Conversion rate is improving, and bounce rate is decreasing, which were our goals." ... Jelly Belly teamed with mobile developer Branding Brand to optimize its Web site for mobile. (read full story)

Sephora Launches Mobile Website (WWD)

"The mobile Web site leverages the technology on our existing ecommerce site, and adds to it." ... Located at m.sephora.com, the program also has the ability to suggest new products based on past purchases and look up past ones. (read full story)

Steve Madden on Mobile Commerce (Forbes)

"We work with Branding Brand, a market leading mobile platform company, which enables us to develop and reinforce a variety of social media initiatives quickly and effectively." (read full story)

Case Study: Steve Madden Invests in Mobile Fundamentals (Forrester Research)

After seven months of deliberation, he settled on a company called Branding Brand, which provided him with the flexibility he sought and ultimately launched the mobile-optimized Steve Madden Web site. Case Study: Steve Madden Invests In Mobile Fundamentals, Forrester Research, Inc., June 22, 2010. (read full story)

Rust Belt Shine: Pittsburgh (Fortune)

Koshzow, Mason and Rahimi launched Branding Brand. In the first year the company snagged heavyweight local clients, including Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), the $4-billion-a-year retailer. (read full story)

Ford Promotes Taurus with Microsoft Tags (Wall Street Journal)

Tagging has been used at a variety of companies, including Dick's Sporting Goods, which worked with Pittsburgh-based Branding Brand. (read full story)

Dick's Sporting Goods and American Eagle Ride the M-commerce Wave (Internet Retailer)

Multichannel retailer Dick's Sporting Goods' site, DSports.mobi, is organized by category and enables shoppers to search for products, locate stores, download coupons and more. The m-commerce site, built by online marketing firm Branding Brand, enables consumers to shop on their mobile phones Dick's Sporting Goods' complete selection of merchandise. (read full story)

4 Ways to Get Customers to Buy your New Product (Fortune)

To win over an early client, Christopher Mason, managing director of Branding Brand, knew he'd have to do more with less. So instead of charging the typical industry service fee, he charged just half that amount and opted for a percentage of the client's sales. (read full story) 

How to Use the Best Social Media Channels (TEQ)

According to Alexa.com, the Web information company, the number one most visited site in the United States is... Google! (Duh.) (read full story)

Social Networking Can Jump Your Business to a New Level (TEQ)

Believe it or not, social networking has been around since e-mail was just getting popular. (read full story)


Investing It (Pittsburgh Business Times)

A two-time entrepreneur before she marked her 28th birthday a few weeks ago, Christina Koshzow is augmenting her traditional portfolio by turning entrepreneurial investor. (read full story)

YouTube Offspring Creates Niche Sites (Christian Science Monitor)

Small websites will not try to compete directly with powerhouses such as YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace, says branding expert, Joey Rahimi, managing director of Branding Brand. Some will use the major platforms to create "buzz" for their sites, but, he adds, "You can make a good living targeting your niche audience." (read full story)

How to Sell a City (CNN)

What's in an urban brand? Civic leaders across the country ask that question as they strive to make their towns attractive to entrepreneurs and others in shaky economic times. (read full story) 

Why I Stayed in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Top 50 in Business: The Past, present and future of Pittsburgh business. From high school to college to small business owner, CMU grad found opportunities at home. (read full story)

Branding a Winner (Carnegie Mellon homepage)

Last year, Koshzow and two College Prowler colleagues launched Branding Brand, a Pittsburgh-based PR and viral marketing company. It was a natural outgrowth of the work they had done with College Prowler. (read full story)

Young Entrepreneurs Choosing Pittsburgh (Pop City)

Thinking like entrepreneurs led three Carnegie Mellon grads to launch two successful companies, both in Pittsburgh. With college students on every corner, affordable office space and a chance to buy a house in your 20s, they had many reasons to stay. (read full story)