On Bag Borrow or Steal, it’s easy to peruse through the pages of rentable bags, from a pale yellow Saint Laurent tote that will cost someone $125 a month to an electric blue Alexander Wang bucket bag at a cost of $100 a month. But inspiring someone to pull the trigger on said rental or purchase via smartphone, not so easy.
So the Seattle-based company — where consumers can also sell their designer purses — enlisted another Seattle firm, mobile content marketer Zumobi, to help it drive more mobile traffic. The two companies today revealed the launch of what Zumobi is calling a micro-zine that culls already-existing content from a company — a blog along with Twitter and Instagram feeds in Bag Borrow or Steal’s case — and packages it into a single, shoppable place that’s not an app and not just another Web site.
About half of the company’s traffic occurs on its mobile site, but actual conversion rates are only half of what they are on desktops, according to Bag Borrow or Steal chief operating officer Robert Treves.
“What we’re trying to do is leverage the content on our social properties to drive customers directly to those items and borrow them as they like,” Treves said.
Bag Borrow or Steal executives had already attempted the app development process in the past, but the steps and hoops to jump through for obtaining approval from Apple were a lengthy process and it ultimately didn’t make sense for the end goal, Treves explained.
The micro-zine, while an attempt to stay current among an existing customer base, holds the potential for bringing new customers to the company — key as the re-commerce industry continues to grow. There are also key metrics that will be gathered on the back end to better understand consumer behavior.
“It’s obviously an element of maintaining relevance, but we’re looking to exposure,” Treves said. “Borrowing handbags is still talked about, but it doesn’t mean it’s in everyday conversations.”
The micro-zine launches with Bag Borrow or Steal, but Zumobi chief executive officer Ken Willner said the company is in talks with other major U.S. retailers about using the platform build, which can be delivered to shoppers via a native app, mobile site or through advertising.
One of Zumobi’s main plugs for its micro-zine is that additional resources to create content to fill the -zine aren’t necessary because they’re culling from existing sources.
“We help brands pull all of their various content sources, which might be siloed,” Willner said. “The problem in the market is that typically all of that content is created with desktop in mind.”
Zumobi, which has also worked in the food, financial and automotive spaces, is noting an uptick in work from retail and apparel companies, Willner noted. “They are getting much more savvy about digital in particular, but also mobile specifically,” he said. “There’s a direct link to conversion.”