Beyond The Rack, significant growth in mobile deal commerce

Beyond The Rack, significant growth in mobile deal commerce

Beyond the Rack recently published their May revenues from mobile commerce.The growth in mobile continues for BTR and their news should help accelerate further mobile commerce investment in Canada from other ecommerce players. Here are the numbers:

From Apple iOS: $4.3 million in sales

Form Android: $400,000 in sales

Richard Cohene, director of marketing at Beyond the Rack stated to Internet Retailer that desktop sales will soon be eclipsed by mobile sales at Beyond the Rack. “From June 2012 to June 2013, we’ve grown from doing 12% mobile to 40% mobile—we’ve practically quadrupled sales through mobile devices,” he says. “In the next 12 months, with the introduction of the mobile apps and the creation of the tablet web experience, I would be surprised if our mobile sales did not eclipse the 50% mark, pushing desktop into the minority. Mobile sales may represent 55-60% of our business by June 2014.”

Beyond the Rack also announced that they launched a new iPhone app and an iPad app, both created with app developer Plastic Mobile. They decided to use an app developer rather than build the apps in-house for a simple reason. “We had no choice,” Cohene says. “Beyond the Rack is four years old and we are still dealing with a very busy technology queue with many mission-critical projects that have to happen. The app is something you can build in-house, but you have to hire a team of front-end and back-end developers who are experts in the space to make a world-class mobile app. We didn’t have the resources or the time to build that out in-house. Perhaps several years from now it will be in the cards, but for right now we needed an app that was world-class and that we could get out in 2013 with confidence. So that is why we decided to go with Plastic Mobile.”

Cohene declined to reveal what it cost to build the iPhone and iPad apps, but “If you want a world-class Facebook-quality app you will spend $250,000,” he says. “If you want a 3-star or 4-star app that will do plenty and have a great user interface you will pay $150,000. A quick and dirty app will cost less than $100,000.”

The one issue I have here is the cost of mobile app development. Sure, you get what you pay for, and brand name apps with feature rich ecommerce elements can certainly run anywhere from $100-$250k, but there are plenty of solid ecommerce apps on the market that were built for a lot less than the $100k threshold Beyond the Rack suggests. A good bench mark based on industry experts is as follows: a non ecommerce iphone/ipad app, budget from $7500-$20,000, an ecommerce one with straight forward features, $20-$50k, sophisticated features, $100k and above. These prices continue to fall as more development in this area brings further competition from app developers.

Regardless, the point of this story is the fast growth of mobile commerce across the deals sector and retail sector.