Godiva goes mobile

Jun 01, 2008 9:30 PM  By

Godiva Chocolatier has a new flavor: BlackBerry. The multichannel food and gift merchant has added a mobile channel to enable BlackBerry smartphone users to make purchases on the go.

Godiva Mobile, which had its soft launch in April, uses a device-resident application that includes a rotating variety of the merchant’s top-selling products, and can integrate with other BlackBerry applications, including the address book and mapping applications. BlackBerry users can purchase Godiva products simply by scrolling and clicking.

A user’s credit card information will be stored once entered for convenience sake, but will be encrypted to keep potential hackers from stealing the information, says Kim Land, vice president of direct-to-consumer for Godiva. Users can also take advantage of the BlackBerry’s built-in GPS to locate the nearest Godiva boutique if they want to make an in-store purchase. Godiva’s mobile commerce partner, Digby, developed the merchant’s mobile channel.

What’s the appeal of mobile commerce? Last-second gift purchases and convenience buys, says Land. “Last-minute gift giving has increased, and not just around Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas,” she notes. “They may be leaving for a business trip, rushing between meetings, or even picking the kids up at a soccer game when all at a sudden they remember a birthday, want to surprise someone, or thank a client, and they can do that from their BlackBerry.”

This is not Godiva’s first attempt at mobile marketing. The chocolatier, which launched its e-commerce site in 1998, and also sells through catalogs and stores, has been a featured merchant in Digby’s virtual mall for BlackBerry users. But Godiva wanted to create its own mobile environment so it wouldn’t compete in the same store as merchants like Wine.com and FTD.com, Land says.

Making its move

“I thought it was great, as a user, to be able to conveniently shop on my BlackBerry,” Land explains. “It was a great first step for us, but inherently we did not want to continue spending marketing dollars on something with competitive products. It’s really about driving people to our store instead of being a part of someone else’s multichannel environment.”