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Avon adds mobile commerce to existing online channel

Avon is helping on-the-go representatives maximize their earnings through a new mobile commerce initiative.

Using the free "Deal of the Day" iPhone application, Avon representatives can order Avon products at value prices anytime, anywhere.

"Retailers are increasingly adding mobile commerce to their existing online channels because mobile phones are so personal and ubiquitous," said Randy Haldeman, chief marketing officer at Apptera, San Bruno, CA.

"Our mobile phones are one of the first things we look at in the morning and one of the last things we check at night," he said. "Providing the ability to shop anytime anywhere is not only hugely convenient for the consumer, but it can create a substantial amount of additional revenue in these tough times for retailers."

Avon is a direct sales beauty company that sells cosmetics and other beauty products. Avon's product lines include lipsticks, foundations, bath and skin lotions, anti-aging cream, perfumes, as well as jewelry and clothing.

Avon representatives make money on the sales they make to customers. The new application is similar to Avon's Deal of the Day on its Web site at

The application was created by Ireland-based DeCare Systems.

"Retailers want to engage with consumers in respectful but timely and relevant ways and mobile provides a natural bridge between digital marketing and the brick and mortar experience," said Dorrian Porter, founder/CEO of Mozes.

"Retailers in different segments have various goals for mobile which might include engaging consumers in store to deliver higher sales, improving the effectiveness of their loyalty programs or being able to drive store traffic from promotions," he said. "Mobile takes away friction with traditional programs and provides critical data and measurability."

The easy-to-use iPhone application sells one item a day until it is sold out or until the deal is replaced.

The deal is presented to the iPhone user and with a few simple taps the purchase is made.

On the checkout page, the Deal of the Day app confirms the order and gives representatives a sneak-peak of the following day's deal, ahead of other deal hunters.

Orders are automatically submitted to Avon and are delivered with the representative's next shipment.

Avon representatives can get daily Avon deals sent directly to their iPhone or iPod Touch.

Additionally, representatives can select from multiple product variants such as different garment sizes or different shades of lipstick.

Purchases are secure and password-protected. The app stores credit card information so it isn't necessary to enter the information each time.

The application is only available to U.S. Avon representatives that have registered with YourAvon.

"The phenomenon of mobile apps is not so much a function of novelty as of refinement -- to handsets, mobile networks and marketing," writes Noah Elkin, senior analyst at eMarketer in his most recent research on mobile apps.

Because smartphones have seen a consistent increase in sophistication accompanied by a steady decrease in price, consumers have become empowered to do more with their mobile phones.

"Brands need to be where their customers are, from both a media and a device perspective, so they have to at least consider mobile applications as a part of their marketing mix," Mr. Elkin said. "Building long-term engagement with their audience should be a brand's primary goal."