May 23, 2013, 9:56 AM

Mobile commerce for dummies

July Systems’ MX software enables non-technical staffers to create mobile site and app features.

Lead Photo

July MX Studio in action.

Mobile commerce technology provider July Systems this week released new software called July MX that allows a user to create a mobile feature or service, such as a location-based promotion or a social sharing form, in minutes with no coding required, the company says. “We want people to understand that the world has moved to a place where non-technical people with creative ideas now can actually be in the forefront of creating value,” says July Systems founder and CEO Rajesh Reddy.

Some retailers that have been testing July MX now deploy four to five new mobile projects per week, he says.  For example, one client, which Reddy did not identify, frequently creates geo-targeted coupon campaigns in the morning and pushes them in text alerts to customers the same day, he says.

Among the companies testing the software is men’s shoe manufacturer Weyco Group Inc. “July MX enables us to address many of our mobile challenges instantly,” says Jeffrey Douglass, director of marketing at Weyco. “MX also provides a wealth of use cases and opens up a variety of distribution and engagement models to us.”

July MX is an Internet-hosted technology that a user accesses by logging into a web portal. It takes application programming interfaces, or APIs, from other e-commerce technology providers, retailers and social media sites and translates them into visual modules—icons with short descriptions of function—which Reddy compares to Lego blocks that users can drag and drop into their projects. The modules include functionality from companies such as web analytics provider Webtrends, PayPal Inc., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Inc. and Best Buy Co., July Systems says. In the project space, called the MX studio, each module is accompanied by a video explaining what the module does, Reddy says. The studio also offers a set of common projects, called MX Recipes, for users to pick from and modify as they like, he says. “We’re trying to take away all the roadblocks of the unknowns,” he says.

After a user puts together a new mobile service, she can preview how it will appear to consumers, Reddy says. Then, because July Systems has pre-tested all the modules, it can start working as soon as she hits a button to make it live, he says.

If a retailer doesn’t already have a mobile app or web site, it can create one using July Systems’ App Engines or its HTML5 Engine and then customize it with MX. Retailers that have a mobile app or web site built on another mobile technology can also use the tool if they install a piece of software, App X. That allows them to build new services and features directly into their existing app or site with MX Studio, July Systems says.

July MX pricing starts at $2,000 per month and increases with the number of mobile projects created.

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