U.S. shopping website 11 Main, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s first retail marketplace on foreign soil, announced today that it has launched a slate of apps to enhance shopping on mobile devices for American consumers.
Available for Android phones, Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, the 11 Main apps have been optimized for each platform and offer shoppers an on-the-go option for browsing the website’s curated collection of specialty shops and boutiques. The apps also integrate Apple’s recently announced ApplePay service, which allows shoppers to pay for purchases online or at brick-and-mortar stores. An iPad app will debut later this year.
To download the apps, click here.
“Shoppers are increasingly turning to mobile applications to discover new shops and products,” said Mike Effle, 11 Main president and general manager, in a press release. Purchases via smartphones and tablets will hit $86 billion this year and account for 29% of U.S. consumers’ online purchases, according to a Forrester Research report issued in May.
“By providing consumers with a great mobile shopping experience on multiple platforms,” Effle said, “we’re able to help our shop owners reach today’s mobile shopper in ways that were previously beyond their resources.”
The mobile interface for the apps displays videos and product information much like a catalog or digital magazine, the company said. Shops are organized by product category, including Fashion & Style, Home & Outdoor, Jewelry & Watches, Baby & Kids, Collecting & Art, and Crafts, Hobbies & Toys.
Alibaba, the owner of China's largest shopping websites, has been dipping its toes in U.S. e-commerce. 11 Main opened in June as a boutique-style online marketplace that provides budding American retailers, manufacturers and craftspeople an alternative to giant U.S. e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay, offering them a specialized marketing environment to build their brands.
Although the website's new shopping apps are only available in the U.S., 11 Main is hoping that Chinese consumers who can read English will shop on the site and make purchases from its U.S. merchants that are able to ship to China.
"Our strategic priorities are to continue to maximize our growth with China's relatively under-penetrated online shopping population and to increase opportunities for merchants in the U.S. and internationally to sell their goods into China," Jim Wilkinson, senior vice president of international corporate affairs for Alibaba Group, told USA Today.
By Jim Erickson | Nov 13, 2014 | 09:28 PM