Andrew Koven, Steve Madden, says mobile is all about speed and efficiency – customers demand it and you need to deliver

This morning, Andrew Koven, President, e-Commerce and Customer Experience, Steve Madden, got a very excited phone call this morning from his mobile partner who was gushing that they “broke 10 percent.” It was early. Andrew wasn’t quite awake yet.

“What do you mean,” he asked. His mobile partner repeated, “We broke 10 percent, Andrew!”

Andrew told his partner to send him a text message detailing what this really means. During his 9:00 a.m. presentation at the Mobile Shopping Summit, Andrew took out his iPhone and read us the stats:

Traffic coming from Steve Madden’s mobile site:

April: 4.4 percent
June: 8.6 percent
August: 9.9 percent

Basically what that means is mobile is exploding. Big news, right? Well, for some yes, for some maybe not. Either way, it’s a good indicator that if you’re not in mobile yet, you should be.

“We’re really at the starting point in terms of pioneering and innovating a whole new way of consumer behavior,” said Andrew.

Andrew is honest in admitting that he was at the right place at the right time with mobile, even calling himself the Forrest Gump of Steve Madden’s mobile initiative. In the past few years, as the company’s mobile platform has evolved, he has developed the mobile focus and reasons for it.

First off, he says, mobile is fun! It’s speedy and efficient, which is what consumers thrive for. Polling the audience, he found that almost everyone in attendance at the Mobile Shopping Summit had done something on a mobile device besides making a call – whether it was looking at a website, using an APP, texting or anything else.

“Efficiency is key,” he said. “We’re seeing fewer pages being looked at on mobile. Experientially, the average number of page views on our website is seven. On mobile it’s four to five. So that means the mobile experience has to be very efficient.”

Right now, Steve Madden’s overall stats for its mobile site from April through October include nearly 900,000 visits, an average time of seven minutes spent on the site and a total of 6.25 million minutes spent on site – not to mention more than 6,000 orders placed through the company’s mobile channel.

A big driver for the company is its social media presence and push to make mobile social. The company engages its customers in contests such as posting two shoes and asking Facebook fans to “like” the shoes. For whichever shoe got to 1,000 likes first, fans would receive a discount to buy that shoe. The company also posts shoes and asks fans to comment on where they would wear it – an activity that generates tons of feedback.

Steve Madden also uses Facebook as a customer service driver, and often Andrew will respond to Facebook feedback directly. By thanksgiving the company plans to have Facebook commerce so customers won’t have to leave the FB environment to shop.

Although right now the mobile conversion rate is lower than the website conversion rate, Andrew sees it growing through innovations in geo-location such as a focus on in-store inventory.

“We have high hopes for identifying inventory in store,” he said. “We think that’s a unique opportunity.”