M-commerce Set for Lift-off

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A few separate stories this week point directly to mobile commerce, and show that many businesses are preparing for the next big e-commerce trend.

To start, a report by Arc Worldwide titled, "Marketing to the Mobile Shopper," finds that out of 1,800 U.S. mobile phone owners, half of them use their devices to augment their shopping both in stores and online. "Heavy" mobile shoppers use their devices vigorously, while "light" mobile shoppers only use the device for tasks such as looking up store hours and locations -- still considered a mobile shopping experience. According to the report, light shoppers will develop into heavy shoppers, so retailers need to prepare for both.

Next, Digby, a service that helps retailers design and deploy m-commerce sites and apps, announced that they raised another $8 million in funding, bringing their total to $16 million. Some of Digby's high-profile clients include Costco and The Home Depot. They also have a deal with AT&T to power its m-commerce software platform for developers.

Finally, Adobe Scene7 announced that Very.co.uk (UK's largest online and home shopping retailer) is using Adobe Scene7 to make their entire catalog viewable and interactive across mobile devices, including video capabilities (more than 1,800 of them), and functions such as tapping to change the color of a product. Very UK is the first retailer in the UK to use the system.

"We want to provide the best online experience possible for our customers by ensuring the experience on our new mobile app is as engaging as our websites," said Neal Preece, e-Commerce Director at Shop Direct.

M-commerce is in a natural evolution process, as devices become more capable and users more savvy. The "Year of the Mobile" is already in full swing (maybe even passed) and the "Year of M-commerce" is approaching. How will you prepare?

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