Mobile shopping is definitely here.
According to the findings of ABI research, mobile shopping in the US accounted for $369 million sales in 2008. That figure jumped to $1.2 billion in 2009. And 2010 is projected to witness an estimated $2.4 billion in mobile purchases. But while the popularity of shopping from one's mobile device is growing everyday, some of the biggest and most trusted web retailers in the industry continue to lag far behind in the mobile landscape. There are really only a handful of companies which are poised to reap the benefits of a growing mobile shopping market in 2010.
What helped a site make my list of 2010's Top 10 Mobile Shopping Sites?
I looked at depth of content, accessibility and searchability, user-friendly features and unique functionality. I looked for sites that rock, that made me stay and … shop awhile.
1. Crate and Barrel Mobile
Crate and Barrel may be new to the mobile space, but the home furnishings brand is quickly taking charge with a new mobile site that has just begun to resonate with customers. With the obvious goal of helping people shop Crate and Barrel’s complete catalog from anywhere in the world, Crate and Barrel has spruced up the conventional mobile shopping with a few attributes bound to be cloned by competitors in no time at all.
• Gift ideas galore! Don’t have any ideas yourself? No worries, Crate and Barrel on your mobile will promptly solve this issue
• Check in-store availability of the products you want
• The entire catalog of products is accessible and searchable from the mobile site
• Manage wedding and gift registries and favorite lists
• Product reviews, product reviews, and more product reviews – the good, the bad, and the ugly are all here
2. Fossil Mobile
Fossil professes its status as a purveyor of the finest (and most affordable) clothes, shoes, and accessories available in the retail world for both men and women today. That quest for excellence has similarly spilled over into the mobile web, where Fossil is now digging up deals and preserving a loyal customer base with a mobile website that is every bit as cool as it is uncomplicated.
• Sleek and visually appealing user interface ideal for sifting through Fossil's massive inventory of watches, handbags, clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc.
• Create or manage your account
• Track shipments, view order status, and update your shopping cart
• Use specific keywords or item numbers to bring up specific product information
• Always a boatload of sales and bargain opportunities to gander through
• Register for email alerts from Fossil's mobile site
3. REI Mobile
REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) may not be as well known as Bass Pro Shops, but the outdoor recreation gear and sporting goods retailer has one gigantic leg up on the competition: a wicked cool mobile site. From backpacks and tents to portable cooking equipment and sleeping bags, REI serves up a dynamic mobile site that is a must for the avid outdoors enthusiast.
• Simple user interface with familiar REI look and feel
• Shop brands and REI-outlets
• Access expert advice from REI about everything from hiking to camping
• Sign up for Gearmail
• Check out the best and biggest sales across multiple product categories
4. Office Max Mobile
Easily one of the least known and most underutilized quality mobile shopping sites in existence, Office Max is finally gaining ground - and exposure for – for its awesome mobile features that take the convenience of customer service to a whole new level. Giving shoppers the ability to browse and buy products ranging from printer paper to office furniture, Office Max mobile leaves customers very little good reason to actually go into a physical Office Max store. A complete shopping experience is waiting to be found on your handset.
• Click-to-call functionality connects consumers with customer service reps
• Monitor weekly ads
• Manage your account
• View your still-in-progress shopping cart on the mobile site
• Easy product and order entry system
5. Barnes and Noble Mobile
Barnes and Noble, simply put, is one of the sexiest mobile websites around. It was hot on the iPhone last year and it will be even hotter this year. Boasting a variety of top notch attributes, Barnes and Noble is considered an exemplary model of all that a contemporary mobile shopping site should be.
• Reserve or purchase items for pickup at a nearby store
• Quickly browse and purchase eBooks
• Review order history/status
• Compile a wish list
• Purchase gift cards
• Soak up comprehensive product details for books, DVDs, and music
6. Target Mobile
While nothing may seem overtly new and exciting about Target, think again. 2010 will be the year of the coupon for Target shoppers. Now accepting mobile coupons for the first time in the retail giant’s long history, Target is making mobile shopping and discount shopping synonymous, all through the familiar and comfortable red and white portal of Target ‘s mobile website.
• Secure exclusive mobile coupons
• Browse registries
• Search in-depth category listings, product descriptions, customer ratings and reviews
• Find localized weekly ads and promotions
7. Walgreens Mobile
Out of left field, Walgreens has launched a mobile website that has become an incredibly hot mobile commodity in virtually no time at all. Both Walgreens Mobile and its corresponding iPhone app aim to deliver the convenience of the convenience store right to your handset. Low on flash but high on practicality, the straightforward, uncomplicated interface serves up exactly what you would expect – a mobile Walgreens experience.
• Refill prescriptions on the go
• View or order photos
• Browse products, their prices, and customer reviews
• Locate the nearest Walgreens store
• Take advantage of weekly ads and storewide promotions
8. Best Buy Mobile
Like no other consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy has developed a powerful mobile presence that is both widely utilized and respected by consumers. With the bulk of the site's emphasis placed on consumer reviews and providing a wealth of helpful information, Best Buy Mobile is at the top of its game in the digital world and is poised to thrive as one of the most dominant mobile shopping sites of 2010.
• Perhaps the easiest check-out process of any retailer's mobile website
• Up to date news, customer reviews, and fresh content features
• Detailed product searches and descriptions
• The latest in local ad campaigns
9. Dooney & Bourke Mobile
Dooney & Bourke may be a well known handbag and accessories retailer, but their mobile presence is brand spankin' new. Giving their mobile female shoppers on-the go access to the latest (and trendiest) purses and accessories is a no-brainer. Launched at the end of 2009, Dooney & Bourke's mobile site exemplifies a smooth but substantive mobile shopping experience from start to finish.
• Attractive user interface
• Neatly categorized among handbags, accessories, and other fashionable gift items
• Thirty shoppers can quickly peruse items under $100
• Specials, favorites, and new products are readily accessible
• Comprehensive product search functionality
10. Sunglass Hut Mobile
A trendy but practical accessory for all seasons, sunglasses can speak volumes about one's sense of self, not to mention style. For this reason, it’s no wonder why the business of sunglasses has emerged as a multi-billion dollar industry. Consequently, Sunglass Hut has become one of the first major retail shades-specialists to step up to the plate with a quality mobile site.
• Expansive criteria selection of sunglasses brands, shapes, colors, etc.
• Easy login and registration
• Eye catching mobile design and straightforward navigation
• The latest markdowns from top brands like Dolce & Gabbana
Of course, there was a reason I compiled this list: because I want to make this list.
Although Catalogs.com's mobile site is fresh out of the box, I have great aspirations. As in all things, I look to the best for inspiration and am always open to feedback.
I want to hear what your top three favorite mobile sites are. Please post me a comment and let me know.