In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
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“Mobile commerce isn’t a 2009 thing, it’s a 2008 thing,” said Nic Covey, director of insights at Nielsen Mobile, a unit of research firm The Nielsen Co. “With the success of m-commerce sites like Amazon.com, which more than 2 million people have visited, and eBay, which more than 3 million have visited, this shows a critical mass that represents a real opportunity for retailers.”
For outdoor gear and apparel retailer Moosejaw Mountaineering, its mobile commerce site and goofy text messages are part of a strategy of engaging customers in their favorite channels and making shopping as convenient as possible, said Gary Wohlfeill, executive vice president of marketing, in a keynote address to the mobile commerce workshop.
Among the ways Moosejaw is employing the mobile channel is texting package tracking numbers to customers’ cell phones, enabling customers to use their mobile PayPal accounts to pay at Moosejaw stores, and putting a Text to Friend button on its web site that lets a visitor recommend a product to a friend by sending an m-commerce site link to the friend’s mobile phone.
Moosejaw may be out in front of most retailers today in promoting mobile commerce. But such testing is part of online retailing’s DNA. As Robert Antall, CEO of retail consulting firm Lake West Group put it, “Today’s experiment is tomorrow’s expectation.”
Given all the innovations discussed at this year’s Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, it’s likely consumers will be expecting a lot more from online retailers by the time of the next IRCE in Boston June 15-18, 2009. l
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