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Rue La La’s iPhone Moments

The smartphone is getting a greater share of wallet in the mobile shopping arena, according to data from the flash-sale site.

The flash-sale site says more accessories and jewelry are sold from an iPhone, while the iPad’s visual capability is more conducive for fashion purchases.

The smartphone is getting a greater share of wallet in the mobile shopping arena, according to data from Rue La La.

This story first appeared in the April 23, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Steven C. Davis, president of flash-sale site Rue La La, said, “We have been heavily investing in mobile now for two years, investing in the mobile shopping experience. Today, over 75 percent of Rue La La’s customers shop Rue La La on a mobile phone. Two years ago, that was less than 10 percent.”

The Rue La La customer shops via other channels as well, such as on a tablet or online via a laptop or desktop. Rue La La refers to the multi-channel approach as shopping across “three screens.”

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To be sure, the growth in the past two years is attributed to more smartphone options entering the electronic marketplace, as well as the introduction of the iPad and other Android-based tablet devices.

“For those customers that were able to migrate and shop using all three of our screens in our [e-tail] world, that customer is 540 percent more likely to buy from us than somebody who shops in just one channel alone,” Davis said.

Because the nature of the flash-sale model requires shoppers to log in, Rue La La is able to discern the type of device the customer is logging in from.

According to current data, 60 percent of Rue La La’s mobile sales are made on Apple’s iPhone, 30 percent on Apple’s iPad, and 10 percent on an Android platform.

The iPhone is a slightly more important mobile device so far in accessing the Rue La La site to see what’s new, since users typically have their phone on them, or at least nearby, most of the time. The iPad, due to its larger screen, is better able to convert a visit to the Rue La La site to a sale. So while the frequency of the visits to the site might be fewer than on an iPhone, the proportion of sales is much higher.

The differences in the visual shopping experiences between the two Apple mobile devices also has resulted in more accessories and jewelry, such as handbags and watches, being sold while accessing Rue La La from an iPhone. The larger iPad screen is more suitable for home goods and fashion, the categories where consumers might want a better look at the item they are contemplating buying.

In addition, weekends are bigger mobile shopping days for Rue La La, with about 50 percent more of its mobile sales as a percentage of total sales occurring on the weekend.