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Asda expands m-commerce platform with non-food mobile site

Asda is extending its mobile commerce platforms to include an Android app for its grocery business and a mobile enabled site for its non-food division.

The Android app launches today (16 April) and will be followed by a mobile optimised site for its Asda Direct non-food business in May.

Kate Cuthbertson, head of mobile innovation at Asda, says that the m-commerce platform will mark the completion of the first stage of Asda’s mobile strategy.

The next step will be to integrate its mobile and digital platforms with its store environments. Asda recently appointed Momentum to handle its in-store marketing and events.

The android app follows the launch of Asda’s transactional iPhone app in November. It allows customers to do their grocery shopping via smartphone and includes product search, barcode scanner and a voice search function so that customers can add items to their shopping list any time or place.

Cuthbertson says: “We want to take an online shop from being a pain to do to something that is an organic experience. We’re looking at Asda mums and how they want to interact with smartphones because it's changed the face of retail. There is a huge potential to combine smartphones with the store environment.

Mobile sales currently account for 6% of Asda’s total online sales, which Cuthbertson says is ahead of expectations.

Cuthbertson works closely with parent company Wal-mart’s San Francisco-based tech division, Wal-mart Labs, to identify how to make best use of its digital capabilities for its core 'Asda mums’ customers in the UK. She says the UK supermarket is looking at “absolutely everything” to develop propositions to improve the customer experience for its shoppers.

Wal-mart has acquired a number of digital agencies, including social media agency Kosmix and iPhone app developers Small Society, in recent months to enhance its online and mobile business.

Source : Rosie Baker – Marketing Week

16 April 2012
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