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All retailers must have a mobile commerce site: Monetate

Monetate Mobile provides consumers with existing retail Web sites with mobile-native navigation and location-based features like a GPS-based store locator. It is currently optimizing sites for the iPhone, iPod touch and Android, with additional platforms to be added soon.

“Obviously we are seeing more and more consumers becoming smartphone users and smartphones enable a fuller Web experience,” said David Brussin, founder and CEO of Monetate, Inc., Philadelphia. “But from a retail perspective the important trend we see is more and more smartphone users treating mobile devices as an extension of the desktop or laptop browser experience, not as a separate mode of communication.”

Monetate is a company that helps retailers mobile-optimize their existing ecommerce sites. Clients include, Tafford Uniforms, and

Going mobile
Retailers are torn between building and maintaining separate, mobile-friendly versions of their Web stores or making a big investment in platform-specific shopping applications.

“For retailers the clear implication of these trends is that today’s consumer is now open to, and in many cases actively seeking, a full, rich ecommerce experience on their mobile device,” Mr. Brussin said.

“That’s on top of all the extra shopping convenience that smartphones offer and mobile shoppers want, like location awareness and access at anytime from anywhere, even from inside your brick-and-mortar stores, or those of your competitors,” he said.

Here is an example of a mobile-optimized site by Monetate:

Smart bar
Monetate mobilizes ecommerce sites with its Smart Bar technology.

The Smart Bar offers access to several features, including searching, browsing, shopping cart and store location, which uses the smartphone’s GPS to guide shoppers to the nearest store. Retailers can also customize the Smart Bar. 

There are many opportunities for retailers in the mobile commerce space.

Unfortunately, many retailers have not implemented a mobile commerce strategy yet.

“We see the lines between ecommerce and mcommerce blurring even more over the next few years, with devices like Apple’s iPad leading the way,” Mr. Brussin said. “Consumers will continue to demand and expect a rich, relevant shopping experience on any platform they choose to use, from a smartphone to a pad device or ebook reader, all the way up to the notebook and desktop.

“However, up is probably the wrong word here since it remains to be seen which platform will dominate retailing,” he said.

“Future ecommerce activity may take place across a broad range of platforms equally, or we could see mobile devices come to dominate online shopping activity.”