Moosejaw Supports Mobile Retail With IBM Smarter Commerce

Moosejaw Mountaineering is using software from IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative to expand its mobile commerce and social business strategy. More than 30 percent of Moosejaw's customers are shopping on the company's mobile site, up from 25 percent a year ago, with about 15 percent of total sales coming from mobile devices and tablets.

Founded in 1992, the outdoor retailer, known for pioneering digital brand marketing, now has 11 retail stores throughout the United States with 80 percent of sales coming from online and mobile commerce. Moosejaw continues to embrace social media to drive brand loyalty and to develop its mobile presence moving from a dedicated site to responsive web design (RWD). Moosejaw's first mobile site launched in 2006, a year before the first iPhone hit the market. Moosejaw has always been on the leading edge, embracing social media techniques before the term even existed.

Nearing 100,000 fans, Moosejaw's social presence has a cult-like following that engages consumers and drives them to the nearest shop locations, e-commerce site, or Moosejaw's Madness Section full of "a bunch of dumb stuff to waste time," according to the site.  Using social media, Moosejaw gives customers a glimpse into the company's culture with a combination of irreverent posts from Moosejaw staff, video clips of Moosejaw's interoffice antics, and loyal shoppers posting pictures of their latest outdoor adventures with Moosejaw's flag that is sent with every order.

"Our mobile and social strategies are core to who we are as a retailer and a brand. Through these channels, we are learning that our customers want to engage with us and be part of something special that stands apart from the mundane and me-too," said Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford. "We love the outdoors and the product we sell, but at the heart of Moosejaw's business, we are a marketing organization using the latest forms of technology to engage our customers wherever they are – on a social site, shopping in the store, summiting Everest, backpacking the Chilkoot Trail, or climbing at their local in-door gym."

By combining marketing and technology, Moosejaw is able to tackle showrooming concerns, maintain consistency across all shopping channels and fostering brand loyalty. Showrooming -- consumers shopping in stores while using mobile devices to compare prices and product details -- is often viewed as a threat to brick-and-mortar retailers. Innovative merchants are putting these concerns to rest by looking at new ways to improve the shopping experience for digitally-savvy shoppers.

According to a recent study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, consumers shopping with a mobile device actually spend more money. Forty-two percent of consumers using a mobile device while in-store spend more than $1,000, while 21 percent of shoppers, who left their smartphones at home, spent the same amount.

Moosejaw is embracing the reality of mobile in-store shopping -- recognizing that consumers want more product information than they might normally find on store shelves or displays.  By using mobile point-of-sale software designed by IBM business partner Crossview, Moosejaw is able to deliver outdoor enthusiasts with a wide range of brands and cross-section of merchandise.

Creating a showroom for customers to shop in, Moosejaw is known for its "endless aisle" strategy. In stores, Moosejaw stocks only 4,000 to 5,000 product SKUs, while the warehouse used for fulfilling online orders holds about 120,000 product SKUs. Using mobile devices, customers and Moosejaw sales associates can stand in the store aisles and look at the wide breadth of product options, check warehouse stock and find desired items that can be shipped to the customer's home for free in one or two days. 

Moosejaw can also use the device to check competitive prices and extend a price match to ensure that the customer receives the best price. Based on this successful system, new stores in Natick, Mass., Boulder, Colo., and Kansas City, Mo., have only two payment terminals (instead of three or four) and 70 percent of all transactions at these locations are completed on a mobile device.

Instead of losing in-store mobile sales, Moosejaw is able to capture those sales and fulfill orders from items in its warehouse, while delivering directly to the customer's home. Moosejaw's "channel-agnostic" approach works to blend the lines and create a more holistic shopping experience for customers.

For related coverage, see:
Moosejaw Employees Nickname New Mobile POS "The Future Toaster"
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