Branding Brand Clients Sweep Top Three Positions in New Mobile Report (Press Release)

What do the top three mobile sites in the e-tailing group's "Mobile Mystery Shopping Study" have in common? They're all powered by Branding Brand.

Announced this week, the new Mobile Customer Experience Index ranks 50 mobile sites against 168 metrics related to usability, branding, and merchandising. Sites are scored on a 100-point scale.

According to the study, the top three performing mobile websites are:

  • American Eagle Outfitters (87 points)
  • Sephora (84.5 points)
  • Crate and Barrel (84 points)


"This is a great day for our clients, and we couldn't be more proud," said Chris Mason, Branding Brand co-founder and CEO.

Previously described by TechCrunch as "an under-the-radar company," Branding Brand has quickly captured the mobile commerce space in a retail landscape previously dominated by massive eCommerce platforms and established vendors. Despite entering 2010 with one mobile site, the Pittsburgh-based startup, formed by a group of Carnegie Mellon grads, now has over 100 brands in its portfolio and has never lost a client. In May, the company became the largest mobile provider to the Internet Retailer Top 500.

"We're fast, nimble, and our technology is unmatched," says Mason. "We're building the mobile railroad with our clients. It's about to get interesting."

ABOUT BRANDING BRAND:
Branding Brand powers mobile commerce sites and apps for the world's leading retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Anthropologie, Carnival Cruise Lines, The Children's Place, Crate & Barrel, Dick's Sporting Goods, Eastern Mountain Sports, Eddie Bauer, GNC, Ralph Lauren, Sephora, Speedo, Steve Madden, Timberland, Tumi, and West Marine. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, it is the largest and fastest-growing mobile commerce platform provider in the industry. It is also a Google Commerce Search Partner and PayPal Channel Partner. For more information, visit www.brandingbrand.com.


Sephora and Pantone's New Foundation Matching Solution (TIME)

A 2009 Essence magazine study found that African-American women spend a staggering $7.5 billion on beauty products each year. And when it comes to cosmetics in particular, black women spend 80% more than other women, in part, because they often need to try out more products to find the right color match.


It's this costly dilemma, faced by women of all skin tones, that beauty retailer Sephora hopes to solve with its new collaboration with Pantone, called Sephora + Pantone Color IQ, a foundation-matching solution that debuts July 26 at one of its New York City locations (5 Times Square), and in its Powell Street store in San Francisco on Aug. 2.


The technology behind Color IQ is advanced, but the concept is simple: a handheld device allows Sephora makeup artists to digitally scan various spots on a customer's face, resulting in 27 images in less than two seconds. The color capture technology then assigns each person a Pantone skin-tone number, which when entered into the coinciding iPad app, brings up a list of foundations — of the more than 1,000 Sephora sells — that are the closest match for the customer's skin tone.


Around 10-20 results typically show up, and customers can then narrow down foundations by their preferences for formula weight, coverage, SPF availability or eco-friendly ingredients.

(Read full article)


Costco’s New Mobile App Bridges Online and Store Shopping (Internet Retailer)

Following the launch of its mobile commerce web site last November, Costco Wholesale Corp. has just rolled out a new mobile app available for both Apple and Android users.  With it consumers—who may or may not be Costco members—can shop the retailer’s online site from a mobile device, as well as:

  • Refill pharmacy prescriptions.
  • Upload mobile photos for printing in the Costco photo center. 
  • Renew or sign up for Costco membership.
  • Create shopping lists to use in-store.
  • Locate nearby warehouses.
  • Read articles from the magazine Costco Connection.
  • Access business delivery services.
  • Browse both warehouse and online-only offers.

On the app’s home screen, each of those functions is represented by name and icon in a grid of boxes that users can slide through to make a selection. In a bar at the top, the app also has a search button that allows customers to either type or speak into their mobile device to look for products or information from Costco.com. 

Costco turned to mobile development company Branding Brand, which also created its U.S. and Canadian mobile sites, to build the new app. It is available in the Apple Inc. App Store and in the Google Play market that offers Android apps.

“These apps increase convenience by providing a bridge between online and offline worlds,” says Branding Brand co-founder and CEO Chris Mason. “Although tasks like refilling prescriptions, printing photos and creating shopping lists can now begin on mobile, they still end in in-store.”

(Read original article)


Sephora, Crate and Barrel Offer Best-in-class Mobile Web Sites: Report (Mobile Commerce Daily)

Retailers’ mobile Web sites improved across all key indicators in the past year as merchants did a better job meeting customers’ expectations, according to a new report from the e-tailing group.

The group’s third annual Mobile Mystery Shopping Study found that the mobile shopping experience has shown strong improvements in delivering a consistent cross-channel experience, better merchandising and more promotional activity. The e-tailing group expects mobile sites to continue to continue to improve as retailers address the growing use of smartphones and tablets for shopping-related activities.

“The big news is the pace at which the merchants are embracing mobile and making tangible improvements to make a smoother, more efficient shopping experience,” said Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group, Chicago....

Mobile customer experience improves
The e-tailing group audited 168 metrics on 50 mobile sites to create the Mobile Customer Experience Index showing how retailers’ mobile Web sites compare with others. The sites were scored on a 100-point scale based on metrics for five key pages, presence and execution of merchandising tactics and accessibility of customer service.

Key findings include that the number of retail mobile Web sites with a score of 80 doubled in the past year for a total of ten. Additionally, the average score increased from 64.56 to 71.53.

The top five performing mobile Web sites are American Eagle Outfitters with a score of 87, Sephora with 84.5, Crate and Barrel with 84, Nordstrom with 83.75 and REI with 83.

(Read full story)


American Eagle Outfitters Strengthens mCommerce Push with iPad App (Mobile Commerce Daily)

American Eagle Outfitters is proving that mobile plays an integral role in driving sales by rolling out a new iPad application that lets consumers shop the latest trends.

In addition to an iPad application, AE also has an iPhone and Android app, as well as a mobile-optimized site. The mobile apps and site are developed by Branding Brand.

“In terms of revenue, we have seen tablets outperform smartphones since July 2010,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand.

“Furthermore, we are finding that tablet shoppers consistently spend more than desktop shoppers, making them the highest-value audience within your demographic,” he said.

Mobile shopping
The AE iPad app is loaded with exclusive content that helps consumers keep up-to-date on the newest trends.

Through the app, consumers can shop the latest looks and get exclusive deals.

The app also features a Style Mixer feature that lets consumers create a unique look that goes hand-in-hand with their fashion sense.

Additionally, consumers can get the latest AE and aerie Facebook, Twitter and YouTube updates via the app.

“Many clients are looking for ways to market and package offers exclusively for tablets,” Mr. Mason said. “Our analytics, along with our ability to power commerce anywhere, makes it easy for retailers to develop a cohesive strategy across environments.

“American Eagle is a leader in the mobile space, and Branding Brand is proud to work with them on not just their tablet app, but also their mobile site and smartphone apps,” he said.

(Read full story)


Top Do’s and Don’ts of Mobile Marketing (Mobile Marketer)

... Do format your marketing emails for mobile. 

Email is the highest-converting referrer and one of the largest sources of traffic.

“When someone clicks on a promotion, the experience should be as seamless as possible,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand.

Don't send people from a QR code to a non-optimized site. 
There is nothing more frustrating than a well-thought-out campaign that lacks a proper execution.

“If they're scanning the code, they're on their phone,” Mr. Mason said. “You'd be surprised how many QR codes take people to a desktop site.” ...

(Read full article)

Branding Brand Launches Costco Mobile Apps for iPhone and Android (Press Release)

Branding Brand today announced the launch of its new Costco smartphone apps for iPhone and Android.

With the new apps, members and non-members alike can shop the entire online site from their phone. Users can also:

·      Refill prescriptions from the Pharmacy

·      Upload mobile photos to the Photo Center for printing

·      Renew or sign up for membership

·      Create shopping lists for in-store use

·      Locate nearby warehouses

·      Read articles from the Costco Connection magazine

·      Access Business Delivery services

·      Browse warehouse and online only offers

The apps are available for download on iTunes and Google Play. Branding Brand previously worked with Costco to develop the Company’s U.S. mobile site last November and a Canadian mobile site in March.

“Consumer expectations are always evolving, and we are proud to work with clients who recognize this,” said Chris Mason, Branding Brand co-founder and CEO. “These apps increase convenience by providing a bridge between online and offline worlds. Although tasks like refilling prescriptions, printing photos, and creating shopping lists can now begin on mobile, they still end in store.”

 

ABOUT BRANDING BRAND:

Branding Brand powers mobile commerce sites and apps for the world's leading brands, including American Eagle Outfitters, Anthropologie, Carnival Cruise Lines, The Children's Place, Crate & Barrel, Dick's Sporting Goods, Drugstore.com, Eastern Mountain Sports, Eddie Bauer, GNC, Ralph Lauren, Sephora, Steve Madden, Timberland, Tumi, and West Marine. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, it is the largest and fastest-growing mobile commerce platform provider in the industry. It is also a Google Commerce Search Partner and PayPal Channel Partner. For more information, visit www.brandingbrand.com.



Costco Plunges Further into mCommerce with iPhone, Android App (Mobile Marketer)

Costco is making a bigger push into mobile with a new iPhone and Android application that lets consumers shop its inventory.

The company worked with Branding Brand on the mobile initiative. The app is available for free download in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

“Consumer expectations are always evolving, and we are proud to work with clients who recognize this,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand.

Mobile shopping
Through the Costco mobile app, members can shop, refill and check prescriptions, as well as find the nearest locations.

Consumers can also shop the company’s expanded selection of items, which are not found at their local warehouse and get them delivered to their door.

Using the app, customers can also locate the nearest Costco warehouse and filter their search for specific departments such as gas or pharmacy.

Users can also upload photos straight from their phone to the Costco Photo Center, as well as share, format and order prints for pickup.

Additionally, the Costco mobile app lets consumers refill and check the status of their pharmacy prescriptions.

Consumers who are not members can join Costco via the app or renew their membership....

(Read full article)


Branding Brand Sees the Future and It Looks Mobile. Expanding and Hiring. (Pop City)

The future is mobile. To survive we need an effective tool that connects us with the consumer revolution. In other words, a mobile phone, says Branding Brand CEO Chris Mason.
 
Founded in 2008, the South Side company has grown from three CMU friends and grads--Chris Mason, Joey Rahimi and Christina Koshzow--to 62 people today. The expansive growth is credited, in part, to the company's success in mobile app and website development.
 
It was Dicks Sporting Goods that gave Branding Brand an opportunity to show the world what it could do in the emerging social media and mobile space. Today clients are local, national and international, including Sephora, American Eagle and GNC. 
 
Nearly 25% of all the commerce coming to a company’s website today is through the mobile phone. Our growth is a reflection of confidence in Branding Brand’s ability to successfully connect with an important segment of the buying population through mobile and social media, says Mason.


Mobile is the New Black (Mobile Marketer)

Mobile continues to grow at a rapid pace and marketers are continually implementing QR codes, SMS, mobile advertising and applications into their marketing efforts to reach consumers on every medium possible.

Television and print used to be the go-to channels where marketers were able to connect with consumers and build brand awareness. However, over the past few years, mobile has been gradually used in a company’s day-to-day initiatives and nowadays, a majority of campaigns out there have a mobile element to them.

“Black is always in style, it just has to be used for the right context and in the right amounts,” said Chris Mason, cofounder/CEO of Branding Brand.

“Yes, mobile is the new black,” he said. “Moving forward, it should always be considered as part of your marketing strategy – although, more often than not, people are using it as a panacea.

“Mobile has to be situation – and context-relevant more than any other part of your solution set.”


Costco Launches New Mobile App (Forbes)

In early May, Costco –  the country’s largest retailer after Wal-Mart – announced it was beginning to build a mobile presence to rival its other big-box competitors. Today, Costco, which does about $2 billion in sales a year, launched a mobile app available for both iOS and Android.

Currently, Costco.com ranks 17th among online retailers, and its own neighbor in Seattle – Amazon –  ranks first. Wal-Mart, which is more similar to Costco with a brick-and-mortar experience in addition to an online store, ranks fourth online — and both are growing faster than Costco, according to the trade publication Internet Retailer.

(Read full article)