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Mobile improvements pay off for Bon-Ton

August 19, 2016 01:12 PM
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The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.’s investment in mobile commerce is paying off.

CEO Kathy Bufano told analysts on the retailer’s fiscal Q2 2016 earnings call that sales on mobile devices grew 129% year over year during the quarter, while mobile conversion is up 45% and mobile traffic increased by more than 40%. Bufano did not specify a dollar figure or mobile’s percentage of total sales.

“We made a number of enhancements to our mobile site, including a simplified checkout and greatly improved product pages and general navigation,” she said, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha. “In addition to being able to pay with a virtual version of their credit card [meaning the version of a shopper’s credit card that they save to their account], we are also making it easier for [consumers] to apply their loyalty program rewards to online purchases. And we will be rolling out a new one-click-to-redeem functionality in the fall.” Shoppers also will be able to access their personal shopping cart, which saves the items they had placed in a cart when they are logged in on Bon-Ton’s site, whether they’re using their smartphone, desktop or other device, she said.

Bon-Ton is No. 169 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide and No. 408 in the 2017 Mobile 500. The company does not break out e-commerce sales in its earnings reports.

Last week, Bon-Ton rolled out a buy online, pick up in store service to its 270 retail locations. Bufano says 70% of all online returns are returned to a store, with 30% of shoppers who return something to a store buy something else while there. Bon-Ton operates e-commerce sites and stores under the Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers names.

For the fiscal second quarter ended July 30, Bon-Ton reported:

  • Net sales of $542.4 million, down 2.3% from $555.4 million last year.
  • A comparable-store sales decline of 2.0%.
  • A net loss of $38.7 million, compared to a net loss of $39.6 million.

For the first six months of 2016, Bon-Ton reported:

  • Net sales of $1.133 billion, down 2.8% from $1.166 billion last year.
  • A net loss of $76.6 million, compared to a net loss of $73.6 million.
 

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