February 17, 2011, 10:19 AM

When it comes to the iPhone, just jump in and learn

It’s too early to say what’s right and wrong, an Internet Retailer conference speaker says.

Lead Photo

Brad Wolansky

For most retailers, the smartphone generating the most shopper traffic is Apple Inc.’s iPhone. It holds the No. 1 spot in smartphone market share, according to the latest data from research firm The Nielsen Co., and its owners are very heavy mobile web users.

As traffic from mobile devices increases with every passing month, it becomes more important than ever to understand smartphones, and most especially the iPhone, mobile experts say. And retailers should just dive into m-commerce, says Brad Wolansky, CEO of The Golf Warehouse, which operates an iPhone app and an m-commerce site.

Wolansky will talk about getting started with the iPhone and quickly learning about the device in a session entitled “5 things you need to know about the iPhone” on June 17 between 9:15 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in San Diego.

“Innovation and risk-taking are important to online retailers—if we don’t partake in both, we die,” he says. “It’s important to just get started. If we fail, fail quickly and then move on. Mobile is all about taking risks and learning.”

Wolansky says retailers should not start out with any preconceived notions when building an iPhone app or optimizing a web site designed especially for the iPhone.

“There’s no right and wrong. It’s too early in the channel’s lifecycle to pronounce right and wrong,” he says. “With limited sales coming through the channel—most of us are seeing 1% of our overall sales coming through mobile—the amount of data is small, and the user base is limited. Once the sales data increases, and the quantity and diversity of the user base increases, we will be in a better position to judge what’s good and bad in this channel. For now, it’s more about testing and trying new things, listening to the feedback, and adjusting.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Wolansky to speak because he is a member of the Redcats USA executive team. Redcats USA operates numerous e-commerce sites, including The Golf Warehouse. Wolansky’s 25-year retail career includes 10 years with The Orvis Co. Inc., where he held a variety of leadership roles, including vice president of global e-commerce. He was also director of e-commerce for Wilson’s Leather. He has been involved in two start-up companies, and was president and general manager of a chain of East Coast luggage and executive gift stores.

Redcats USA is No. 31 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. The Orvis Co. is No. 124.

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