December 12, 2008, 12:00 AM

New technology enables retailers to gain mobile presence

Unbound Commerce has raised the curtain on Mobile Presence, an m-commerce platform that extracts information and images from an e-commerce site to create a mobile site.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Unbound Commerce has launched a mobile commerce technology platform, dubbed Mobile Presence, designed to speed and ease the creation of a mobile retail web site.

The platform is software as a service. Unbound Commerce serves up the graphical interface, features and functions of an m-commerce site via a template-based system, filling the template with information and images from the retailer’s e-commerce site. The vendor also maintains a database of information on most existing mobile phone makers and models, tailoring an m-commerce site to the type of phone after recognizing a phone’s identifying information contained within a request from a mobile browser.

“Unbound Commerce enabled Moosejaw to translate our brand into a compelling mobile experience for our customers-which we use to drive traffic to our stores, improve the shopping experience and deepen our interaction with the Moosejaw community,” says Robert Wolfe, founder and chairman of Moosejaw Mountaineering, No. 260 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Moosejaw just launched a redesigned version of its m-commerce site, at m.Moosejaw.com, using Mobile Presence.

The vendor can build and maintain mobile marketing and informational sites or fully transactional commerce sites. A non-transactional site can cost around $1,000 per month while a transactional site can cost around $4,000 per month; prices vary based on features and functions, the vendor says. The vendor also offers text message marketing capabilities.

40 million of the 259 million U.S. mobile phone users browse the web using their mobile devices, Nielsen Mobile says. Some retailers may have a need for an m-commerce site and not know it, contends Keith Lietzke, chief marketing officer at Unbound Commerce. He cites as an example one retailer client, currently in production on a mobile site, that was exploring the possibilities of going mobile when it came upon a significant statistic.

“The client said they did not hear requests for a mobile site coming from customer research,” Lietzke says. “We looked into their regular site traffic information and discovered they were getting 60,000 sessions a month from mobile devices. And accessing the regular site on most mobile phones gives a terrible experience.”

Retailers can cure such a problem, he adds, by creating a mobile site designed to give mobile web shoppers a customer experience optimized to meet their shopping needs and the technical requirements of their phones.

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