There's likely no end in sight to the number of iPhone apps
to come. So I'm going to tell you about one more, OK? You'll thank me. Actually, thank The New York Times:
Designer fashion hub Net-a-Porter.com
released its iPhone application, the Net-App, in mid-July. Shoppers can browse handbags, clothes and shoes; read the site's weekly fashion stories; and make purchases. The Times
noted that even though some people use their cell phones to buy virtual goods to use in mobile games or e-books to read on their phones, the masses have not shown much willingness to buy physical goods - especially expensive ones - from their cell phones. (Kind of like how early online purchases, of anything, were made by the few and the brave; now, it's second nature.)
But Net-a-Porter.com, which went live in 2000 and states it has 1.8 million visitors a month, succeeded in getting people to buy $4,000 gowns and $1,000 stilettos on the Web, so iPhone app success may be in sight. The potential for shopping on phones "is massive," said Alison Loehnis, v.p. of sales and marketing at Net-a-Porter.com, in the Times.
"We feel very strongly that third-generation technology is the new shop window. No one wants to be bound to their computer anymore."
Net-a-Porter.com is not the first to offer an iPhone shopping app: there's Lucky at Your Service from Lucky magazine
and ShopStyle Mobile from ShopStyle
. Net-a-Porter, however, developed a tool it calls ClosetFlow, which shows users small images of new products to thumb through. Shoppers can zoom in, flip the phone to look at items from different directions, and read more detailed information about them. The shopper can add the items to a wish list to access later from a computer or buy from within the application, without opening a separate browser window.
Loehnis noted in the article: "Our customers love to shop from their homes or offices, but we want our customers to be able to shop from a cab or while waiting in line and really maximize what little free time they have."
[Thanks to my savvy sister, GP]