50% of JCPenney Cyber Monday sales from mobile, spurs app update

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) has updated its mobile app in an effort to bolster online holiday sales and omnichannel initiatives in the wake of strong Cyber Monday mobile sales for the retailer.

Along with improved navigation, faster browsing and easier access to coupons, the JCPenney app lets shoppers scan a barcode to see online availability at the retailer's website.

The tool enables users to quickly order an item, including additional sizes and colors, not available in stores.

The update comes—if a bit late for Black Friday weekend—at least in time to capiture holiday sales which are increasingly coming from mobile devices. By early Friday morning, sales from smartphones had set a record with $254 million in sales via mobile devices, according to Adobe's Thanksgiving alert.

Roughly half of all JCPenney's sales on Cyber Monday were mobile, reported MediaPost. Even so, JCPenney garnered some of the most negative sentiment from shoppers on Cyber Monday, according to Egagor, which monitors chatter on social media.

"We thought it was important to make considerable improvements to the JCPenney app and mobile experience, because many of our in-store shoppers are using mobile devices to find the latest deals online and confirm what they're looking for is available to them when and where they need it," said Mike Rodgers, chief customer officer for JCPenney. "The holidays are an important time to demonstrate the power and reach of jcpenney.com by ensuring that the ordering process is fast and seamless, regardless of whether you're using a phone, tablet or personal computer."

JCPenney was among the first brick-and-mortar retailers to establish a strong online presence, but JCPenney's digital efforts have suffered as it struggles to navigate a turnaround. Competitors including Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Macy's (NYSE:M) are well ahead of JCPenney when it comes to mobile.

With new leadership in place, the company must do more than just win back former customers lost during Ron Johnson's tenure. That means building a mobile program.

For more:
-See this JCPenney press release
-See this MediaPost story

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