June 24, 2010, 2:01 PM

More retailers aim to launch mobile sites by Black Friday

Even with the newest technology, however, online retailers need to focus on the basics.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

At least 20 retailers expect to launch mobile sites in time for the day after Thanksgiving, the big shopping day often referred to as Black Friday, says Nick Taylor, president of Usablenet Inc., which sells mobile technology.

Taylor says the vendor is working on mobile sites for 20 retailers that are part of the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “Five to 10 more are expected to be added to the pipeline for Black Friday launch dates,” he adds.

The figures reflect a significant increase from last year, when Usablenet helped launched 12 mobile sites for retailers in time for the post-Thanksgiving rush.

Among the retailers expecting a flood of orders via mobile devices is Buy.com, No. 32 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Earlier this year the retailer launched the second version of its mobile commerce site, which now include checkout, advanced search and a platform designed to be faster and simpler for consumers. Consumers with web-enabled mobile devices can shop 5.3 million products on the site.

“Consumers really are going mobile,” says Neel Grover, president and CEO of Buy.com, adding that traffic to the mobile site has increased by nine times over previous levels since the site launched in May. “We are anticipating a large volume of Buy.com orders through our mobile site.”

Mobile shopping will increase as more retailers adopt the technology, says Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group. But retailers also need to pay attention to the basics, she advises. That includes having products in stock and making sure sites do not crash or take too long to load.

She expects a healthy holiday shopping season for online retailers. “I’m sure we’ll be looking at high single- to low double-digit growth,” she says.

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