Urban Outfitters last week joined a very small club: Retailers who sell via smartphone, such as the iPhone. Urban’s new site, m.urbanoutfitters.com, is designed to be easy to use on a mobile device.
Now Urban customers can shop, see their wish lists, read the blog, check order status, find a store and sign up for text alerts from their mobile phones. The mobile store also links to Urban Outfitter’s pages on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
While any cell phone with Internet access can visit any Web store, unless the site has been optimized for the small screen, the experience is cumbersome and typically the checkout process doesn’t work.
As BlackBerrys, iPhones and Palms become ubiquitous, it makes sense to create stores for them, said retailers, to capture business from potential customers who are surfing the Web while waiting for appointments, commuting, on a lunch break or any place without full computer access.
When Yoox quietly put up a test site in April, it received 710 orders in one month. Polo Ralph Lauren, Sears, SVC and Amazon also offer mobile shopping.
An Urban Outfitters spokesperson was not available for comment.