July 21, 2011, 12:03 PM

How small retailers can get off the sidelines and jump into m-commerce

An MCF 2011 speaker will offer tips about making the right mobile choices.

Lead Photo

Ron Yates

After launching a mobile commerce site nearly a year ago, Yates & Co. Jewelers, which operates the Titanium-Jewelry.com e-commerce site, experienced significant increases in sales, page visits and conversion rates, says Ron Yates, the retailer’s president and director of e-commerce. He will speak about how smaller retailers can replicate that success at the Mobile Commerce Forum 2011 in Houston Oct. 12 in a featured presentation entitled “You don’t have to be big to have a big mobile presence.

Retailers need to focus on making the mobile channel as efficient as possible for shoppers, he says. “More and more customers now expect web sites they are shopping at to have a mobile version for fast navigation and ease of use.  If the shopper visits a site that is not a mobile version, they will quickly leave." Yates says.

Yates will describe for attendees how the online jewelry retailer outsourced its mobile commerce effort—m-commerce technology provider FastPivot built the mobile site—and also how a small investment can make a big difference in mobile retailing. He says that retailers who want to jump into mobile commerce need to consider such issues as how mobile marketing differs from other forms of e-commerce marketing and how to best use the smaller screens of mobile devices so as to not overwhelm the consumer.

He adds that smaller merchants, especially, need to embrace consumer developments. "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."

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Yates to speak not only because of his experience guiding a relatively small retail business into mobile commerce, but because he expanded his jewelry business from a single store into catalogs and in 2002 focused the launch of his Internet presence on an emerging market niche: titanium wedding rings.

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