Cell phones go preppy with Polo e-commerce site

Luxury apparel maker Ralph Lauren is rolling out a mobile commerce site that will be accessible from any phone with a Web browser.

Have you ever been standing on a train platform and thought, "I need a button-down Polo shirt and a pair of herringbone trousers, and I need them now"? Well, word is you can order that getup from your cell phone, right when the urge for Hamptons chic strikes.

Polo Ralph Lauren on phone
Polo Ralph Lauren

Luxury apparel maker Polo Ralph Lauren is rolling out a mobile commerce site that will be accessible from any phone with a Web browser via mRalphLauren.com.

Currently, mobile shoppers can use their phones to order anything from the company's US Open collections, RL Classics shop, and selection of Ricky Bag handbags.

In coming months, that inventory will expand, so that one day you may even be able to buy your preppy pup a belted cardigan sweater in plush, channel-quilted cashmere while you're sitting in a board meeting.

In making the mobile move, the company is hoping to stay on pace with a trend that's already well-established in Asia, David Lauren, senior vice president of advertising and son of designer and CEO Ralph Lauren, told Reuters.

"The truth is that in other countries, it's becoming a part of their culture," he said. "The trend is coming, and as a fashion company it's very important to identify trends and get ahead of them."

The fashion retailer says it will begin placing special two-dimensional bar codes, called QR (quick response) codes, in print ads, mailings, and store windows along with its sponsorship of the upcoming tennis tournament. The codes, already prevalent in Japan, embed several hundred times more information than a traditional bar code.

Shoppers can download special software to camera phones to scan the codes and be directed to a phone-friendly version of a Ralph Lauren Web site, where they can not only shop, but watch tennis videos and read company content.

Here in the States, Polo Ralph Lauren says it's on the forefront of using of this technology in the fashion field.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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