December 1, 2009, 12:00 AM

While some retailers have gone mobile, many don`t have plans to do so yet

10% of retailers today boast an m-commerce site; of those that do not, 41.6% plan to launch one within the next two years, says a new Internet Retailer survey. However, 58.5% of those merchants without a site say they have no plans to build one.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

10% of retailers today boast a mobile commerce web site; and of those that do not, 41.6% plan to launch one within the next two years, according to a new Internet Retailer survey of 404 chain retailers, web-only merchants, catalogers and consumer brand manufacturers.

But 58.5% of those merchants without a site say they have no plans to build one, even amidst m-commerce breaking out this year with retailer after retailer going mobile.

“The market is in the early stages of an inexorable redistribution of tasks from personal computers and laptops to mobile devices,” says Dave Sikora, CEO of m-commerce technology vendor Digby. “As mobile devices get smarter and connectivity becomes more reliable, people will be able to accomplish more and more things on these new smart devices. This will accelerate during the next three to five years; this shift is inevitable.”

Of those retailers planning to build an m-commerce site, 6.6% plan to do so within six months, 15.3% within six months to a year, 14.2% within one to two years, and 5.5% within two years.

“As the transition to mobile accelerates, all retailers will begin to see traffic levels from mobile devices increase dramatically; for some retailers this has already begun,” Sikora says. “Likely during the next two to three years, all retailers will be forced to address this trend. Those who embrace mobility as an opportunity-early adopters that have done trial and error projects and wind up with a depth and breadth of mobile offerings-will outperform those who embrace it defensively-retailers late to the game with minimalist sites or apps.”

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