May 2, 2008, 12:00 AM

Where does e-commerce go from here?

(Page 3 of 3)

Mobile commerce

A second workshop June 12 will focus on what could be the next big thing in direct-to-consumer retail, mobile commerce. Among the pioneers has been Moosejaw Mountaineering Inc., which has created a site optimized for mobile phones and uses text messaging to reach customers through their phones.

“We wanted to be the first out there because the longer we can do it, the better we can do it,” says Gary Wohlfeill, executive vice president of marketing at the outdoors apparel and gear retailer, who will speak at the m-commerce workshop.

The mobile channel has special potential for retail chains because they can close a sale via the phone when a customer can’t find the item in a store, says Bryan Biniak, managing director of Provenance Ventures LLC, a venture capital firm with m-commerce investments. That’s especially important, he says, for impulse buys, because the retailer may lose the sale if it’s not closed immediately.

In addition to the four days of conference sessions, IRCE attendees will be able to learn about the latest e-commerce technology from the 325 exhibitors on a 130,000-square-foot exhibit hall floor. That exhibit floor will be 27% bigger than last year’s, a sign that vendors recognize there’s still plenty of growth ahead in online retailing.

don@verticalwebmedia.com

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