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Digby kicks off Mobile Boot Camp, talks up mobile commerce

Dave Sikora, CEO of Digby, Austin, TX, kicked off Mobile Boot Camp, cohosted by the NRF’s, Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, with an introductory speech.

Here is what Mr. Sikora had to say:

We are thrilled to be a part of this Mobile Boot Camp program and equally excited about the leadership role that the various NRF communities are taking in the area of mobile retailing. 

It says something about the accelerating importance of mobile that we are finally having our very own day at the beginning of a major conference for retailers, versus an afterthought at the end of three days, and combined with three other topics.

This is very exciting! Thank you to NRF and Mobile Commerce Daily!

We at Digby are very interested in the proceedings here today. Since our inception in 2006 and two years before the iPhone was introduced, we have been 100 percent focused on building the mobile channel for retailers, which includes mobile Web storefronts and rich applications for most major smartphones.

We always say that strategically, we live at the intersection of retail and mobility.

In fact, we launched the first downloadable application storefront for the BlackBerry in January 2007. Those were very, very early days for mobile retailers. And until recently, it was mostly the early-adopters making noise about their mobile efforts.

But something happened in the summer of 2009. James Samford, a financial analyst from Citicorp who follows Digby, reported that smartphone penetration in the US reached 20 percent, which is a tipping point for accelerated technology adoption.

Mr. Samford correlated this to 2001, when broadband adoption in the home reached 20 percent.

With the benefit of hindsight, this was proven to be one of the most significant catalysts for the Web ecommerce business.

We looked at our data, and our traffic activity and transactional throughput numbers certainly bear out this “Summer of 2009” accelerated adoption theory.

So Digby has not only witnessed the incredible mobile commerce explosion that has taken place in just the last year, but we have also been a key facilitator.

Companies like 1-800-Flowers, Toys‘R’Us, Abercrombie & Fitch,, Wet Seal and many others are building their mobile channel strategy around our core software platform.

Just last week we launched Golfsmith and this week we will go live with ArdenB and Cabelas.

It is an extremely exciting time to be in this business and we really appreciate the opportunity to serve this market segment. I hope we have a chance to talk with you and learn more about your strategic plans in mobility.

A final thought to frame the opportunity. There are only two industries whose customers are called “users” – application software and illegal drugs—although the BlackBerry, or CrackBerry, definitely straddles these segments! The common denominator is dependency.

There are 3.3 billion mobile phones activated around the world and fewer than 100 million iPhone and BlackBerry users combined. In the next five years there will be more than 1 billion smartphone “users.”  That’s a lot of people who can become addicted to and dependent on your brand through your mobile application strategy.