Moosejaw Mountaineering takes on new mobile adventure

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NEW YORK - Moosejaw Mountaineering, the irreverant outdoor gear and apparel retailer, recently launched a mobile-shopping site that lets customers browse, price compare and shop for their favorite gear using any mobile phone or device.

A representative from Madison Heights, MI-based Moosejaw offered this information at the 2007 Mobile Marketing Forum here at the Marriott Marquis.

The MMF is sponsored by the Boulder, CO-based Mobile Marketing Association, whose members include agencies, advertisers, hand-held device manufacturers, wireless operators and service providers, retailers and any company focused on the potential of marketing through the mobile channel.

Moosejaw operates six locations in Michigan and Illinois and several Web sites, which are responsible for 60 percent of total sales, according to Indy Bishop, director of marketing at Moosejaw. The company also has a catalog. Its Web sites include TheJaw.com, ThaLowdown.com, MoosejawRewards.com, AdventureWatches.com and CampMoosejaw.com.

The company was formed in 1992 and has grown 50 percent to 70 percent every year since, Mr. Bishop said.

To fulfill its m-commerce technology needs, Moosejaw selected Seattle-based mPoria Inc.'s GoMobile solution. Designed specifically for the retail industry, GoMobile is a cost-effective service that lets merchants establish their own mobile-shopping site without the need for in-house development resources.

The site, which went live April 11, offers more than 40,000 outdoor gear and apparel products.

To make a purchase, consumers simply enter www.Moosejaw.mobi in their mobile Web browser to get immediate access to the company's product catalog. With mPoria's technology, mobile-shopping sites including Moosejaw's offer convenient browsing and product search. Once consumers are ready to make a purchase, they simply enter their credit card information into mPoria's secure platform, choose a preferred method of delivery and place their order.

"The site complements our existing marketing strategy - not just being multichannel but being cross-channel within a multichannel marketing strategy," Mr. Wohlfeill said. "For example, we can push our catalog on the mobile phone or push testing through our e-mail blasts and on the Web site."

For example, the company recently sent out an e-mail to its opt-in list that asked recipients to text them back about their least favorite movie, and then Moosejaw texted them back with a 20-percent-off coupon code on merchandise.

"We got a really good response on it," Mr. Wohlfeill said.

Mr. Wohlfeill admitted that a key reason Moosejaw is focusing on mobile marketing is that the company is already reaching the right demographic for mobile applications -people age 18 to 34 who regularly use mobile devices and text messaging.

"We are really excited about [our mobile marketing initiatives] and we think it is going to expand and become a really important part of what we do in our marketing in the future," Mr. Wohfeill said.

The GoMobile platform also allows retailers to expand sales and marketing efforts like SMS campaigns and special promotions to their mobile customers.

Also during the session, Mark Kaplan, founder and chief marketing officer of ShopText Inc., a New York-based mobile-commerce and promotions company, explained his company's service and offered some examples.

To use the service, a consumer must first place a phone call to ShopText to set up an account, specifying a shipping address and card account.

Then, when these consumers see the ShopText logo in their favorite magazines, newspapers, concerts, posters or on TV, they can shop, sample or donate from their mobile phones. When ShopText receives text messages about donations or products, it charges the credit card it has on file for the buyer. Then it sends the product from one of its warehouses around the country to the consumer.

Mr. Kaplan said a New York City nightclub, the Knitting Factory, is currently selling tickets through text messages. Here, an ad appearing in The Village Voice newspaper currently includes a keyword that consumers can text in and purchase a ticket. The ticket shows up at the "Will Call" window and purchasers can pick up the ticket there as if they purchased it online.

The Knitting Factory is also looking at other ways to use the feature, like encouraging audience members to text-message to join an online discussion about the concert that night.

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