February 1, 2011, 12:00 AM

Mobile commerce trickles down to the smallest retailers

The Basket Lady is a prime example of a trend in mobile commerce: As the channel grows, even the smallest of merchants are getting on board.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

A mobile commerce site for the Basket Lady? Why not?

For specialty basket retailer BasketLady.com, creating a mobile presence wasn't exactly a top priority. The Basket Lady's customers, mainly non-tech-savvy females between 30 and 50 years old, weren't asking for a mobile-optimized site, says Kelli Katch, vice president of business development.

But when Katch's e-commerce platform provider, CoreCommerce, part of Sum Effect Software Inc., offered to help her create an m-commerce site for free and with little to no work on her end, she figured, why not?

The Basket Lady went live with a mobile site in March. To date, mobile sales at the retailer, which carries about 300 SKUs, are minimalÑaround $3,000. But that's $3,000 Katch gladly welcomes.

The Basket Lady is a prime example of a new trend in m-commerce. As the channel grows, mobile commerce is gradually trickling down to even the smallest of e-retailers.

Retailers like The Basket Lady, which launched in the early 1990's selling at country markets, are creating a mobile presence because their e-commerce platform providers are making it easy to do. "It was offered as part of their package, and so I said, ÔOK, make my site mobile-compatible,'" Katch says.

CoreCommerce unveiled its mobile offering in March as part of CoreCommerce 7.7, an updated version of its e-commerce platform. The CoreCommerce software automatically detects if a mobile device is accessing a retailer's online store and then adjusts and optimizes the display for the smaller screens of the mobile devices. Merchants can continue to use their existing payment processors for the mobile-optimized site.

CoreCommerce is one of several e-commerce platform providers catering to smaller retailers that now offer mobile. Others include BigCommerce, Shopatron and Yahoo Stores, which partners with m-commerce technology provider Unbound Commerce to offer mobile.

In the future, Katch says she'd like to optimize mobile navigation and finesse the look and feel of the site. For now, however, she's content with a few extra grand in her company's back pocket.

katie@verticalwebmedia.com

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