October 6, 2011, 10:06 AM

Small e-retailers can build a big presence in mobile commerce

An MCF 2011 speaker will show how he boosted sales through a mobile site.

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Just because a retailer is small doesn’t give that merchant a pass when it comes to presenting consumers with an efficient and interesting mobile commerce experience, says Ron Yates, president and director of e-commerce for Yates & Co. Jewelers, which operates the Titanium-Jewelry.com e-commerce site.

The jeweler launched a mobile site about a year ago, and at the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Forum 2011 next Wednesday, he will talk about how the site has led to an increase in sales, page visits and conversion rates during a featured presentation titled “You don’t have to be big to have a big mobile presence.”

“More and more customers now expect web sites they are shopping at to have a mobile version for fast navigation and ease of use,” he says. “If the shopper visits a site that is not a mobile version, they will quickly leave."

During his session, Yates will also talk about how the online jewelry retailer outsourced its mobile site development to m-commerce technology provider FastPivot. 33% of retailers pushing into mobile commerce have hired m-commerce technology vendors, according to the “The State of Retailing Online 2011,” a Shop.org study conducted by Forrester Research Inc. In the report, Forrester analyst Peter Sheldon echoes some of the points made by Yates. “Today, mobile offerings must be both fully transactional and support the customer’s end-to-end experience with a retailer,” Sheldon writes.

Yates says a successful m-commerce effort requires retailers to be nimble, especially as larger rivals enjoy more resources. "As smaller merchants battling the big boys, we have to adapt to current shopping trends," he says. "If we fail to adapt to the shoppers, we risk becoming obsolete.  Consumers are increasingly expecting a viable merchant to have a mobile-friendly web site."

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