Century Novelty Launches Mobile Site

Century Novelty is now mobile: The party supplies merchant launched a mobile commerce site three weeks ago.

Speaking Tuesday at the Mobile Shopping Summit in New York, Century Novelty vice president and general manager Ian MacDonald said the company decided it needed a mobile site in August after attending sessions about mobile shopping at a trade show.

“We thought mobile wouldn’t work for us, because we sell a lot of items with a $1 price point,” MacDonald said. “But we looked at our analytics and determined we’d done $20,000 in sales through mobile devices this year. That’s not a lot, but it’s evidence people are shopping with their phones.”

Century Novelty enlisted SLI Systems to create the site, using the vendor’s new mobile platform, SLI Mobile. The site also uses Amazon Payments, which is an option on Century Novelty’s traditional website, as the mobile payment method.

Cost was also one of reasons Century Novelty chose Amazon Payments for checkouts, since it costs the merchant 30 cents per transaction plus 1.9% of the transaction, based on its sales volume.

But the other reason was convenience: MacDonald said he was able to plug existing Amazon Payments code from his website into the mobile console, and had the installation done in less than five hours.

MacDonald didn’t reveal what it cost the company to build the mobile site. But he noted that it cost less than the mobile revenue Century Novelty generated this year.