What we see now is a fast-evolving mobile marketplace where mobile is becoming the new retail channel, far promising in fact. In general, mobile commerce (also known as m-Commerce) is the process of selling and buying of goods and services through mobile devices. Handsets are poised to take off as the next big platform for retailers since m-Commerce combines the advantages of powerful e-Commerce with the mobility and freedom of wireless devices.
This highlights an emerging opportunity for retailers to tap into the mobile channel. It is becoming clear now that the demand for mobile e-Commerce compliant websites would not be far behind. However, the widespread acceptance of m-Commerce faces hurdles. The main challenges retailers and companies face are technological inadequacies such as lack of desirable software and the absence of universal standards. There is the gap between the existing mobile system and the desired one. From the one side, there are huge possibilities to widely use mobile trading services, but store owners on the other hand vaguely incorporate m-Commerce into their existing business models. This follows that lack of professional mobile shopping cart platforms since software developers don't see any necessity to rapidly create them. Yesterday we've published the preview of Magento Mobile which is Magento's first attempt to jump on the mCommerce bandwagon and fill this vacuum. However Magento Mobile is far from perfect so today we're presenting you the range of other mobile e-Commerce platforms we’ve scarcely found.
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Cart2mobile mobilizing e-commerce solution allows you to to seamlessly extend your existing e-Commerce capabilities to the mobile channel through a combination of mobile storefronts (applications) and mobile Web accessibility (WAP sites). Using cart2mobile, you can extend your e-Commerce solutions to the mobile platform as a managed service without the hassle of investing in hardware and development.
Cart2mobile provides the ability to develop a highly configurable set of mobile modules, allowing the retailers to deploy mobile apps that are customized according to their specific operational needs. There is an ability to create flexible and user-friendly custom apps for the following, and more:
- Mobile Catalog
- Store finders
- Flexible Product Pages
- Product Tracking
- Price Checking
- Product Replenishment
- Order history
- Mobile POS
- Loyalty programs
- Favorite items
- Order Picking/ Staging
- Mobile Inventory Management
- Creating Planograms
- Task Management
Cart2mobile also provides rich applications for all major mobile operating systems and platforms, including Windows Mobile, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Symbian platforms.
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iCongo is a developer of e-business systems and software that enable companies to effectively transact business over the Internet. iCongo’s solutions include B2C and B2B e-commerce systems, retail cross-channel systems, a comprehensive suite of Internet marketing applications, order and warehouse management.
As a provider with cross-channel capabilities and in-store integration strategies, the iCongo e-Commerce platform has transferred those same benefits to the mobile channel. With iCongo’s M-Commerce, retailers are well positioned to offer all the functionality including anywhere-to-anywhere fulfillment, find it in store, and return/pick-up in store. Besides, the merchants looking to launch mobile storefronts can protect their existing investment, using existing CMS and marketing tools to push content to a mobile-optimized storefront. In addition iCongo’s multi-channel e-Commerce platform is PCI compliant.
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Demandware mobile commerce application includes a full-featured, customizable mobile storefront with all of the functionality retailers need to create a compelling shopping experience on a mobile device. With full integration into the Demandware eCommerce Platform, retailers can deploy, customize and manage the day-to-day operations of the mobile channel with minimal effort.
Unlike other mobile storefronts, Demandware provides a unified development environment between the mobile storefront and the ecommerce website for ease of customization and site management. The core functionality in the mobile storefront offers everything a retailer needs to sell through a phone.
Demandware’s mobile commerce application includes:
- Site Search
- Guided Navigation
- Robust Product Catalog
- SKU and Style Handling
- Price Book Compatibility
- Dynamic Content Slots
- Cross-Channel Inventory
- Optimized Checkout, etc.
With the diversity in Smartphone operating systems, this application is designed to work with most major browsers including Safari, Android browser, Opera and Internet Explorer, and with popular Smartphone devices, such as the iPhone and Blackberry. Demandware’s mobile commerce application leverages the native usability of mobile phones, while using the underlying Demandware e-Commerce platform to drive a feature-rich mobile storefront.
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Quantum Web Solutions is able to offer your business the opportunity to add a further dimension to your e-Commerce service with the creation of a full range of mobile e-Commerce compliant website systems.
Conforming to the WAI-AAA international standards, through its extensive range of optimized ecommerce website products Quantum Web Solutions is able to supply the ability to meet the current mobile e-Commerce standards and deliver a fully functioning mobile ecommerce solution to all types of company. Quantum Web Solutions as well offers all mobile ecommerce website systems the ability to monitor and track full analytics and web statistics, giving clients the ability to understand your website’s mobile user habits.
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JustGo - Infogain’s Retail Mobile Stores Solution is a software provided by Infogain, a global retail and mobile solutions provider, working with the market leaders in retail, enterprise systems and mobile applications. Retail Mobile Stores Solution starts with JustGo Accelerator for mobility. JustGo is a complete mobile e-commerce solution that provides all of the technology and tools retailers need to extend their customer reach into the mobile channel. This fast-start toolkit gives the retailers the flexibility of choice to implement the components that are most critical for their unique requirements.
With JustGo Solution store owners can:
- Establish a continuous communications link with customers for information, purchases, offers and continuous loyalty - even outside of the physical and web-based storefronts.
- Communicate new products and offers to the right customers at the right time.
- Enable the customers to make purchases in real-time from their mobile phones.
- Provide customer service at the customers’ convenience.
- Integrate the new mobile-enabled transactions with your existing systems, including inventory, POS, Web 2.0 and CRM systems to achieve rapid customer data acquisition and customer profile build up, low cost loyalty implementation, and synchronization with existing services.
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Zoovy is a hosted e-Commerce software provider which offers mobile e-Commerce functionality for all of its existing customers at no additional charge.
Using the Zoovy Complete solution, a web store can easily run a single site and increase sales by dynamically reconfiguring content for delivery to a broad audience, both mobile market and desktop computers without a need to synchronize information from separate sources. When browsing on a mobile phone, the format will be simply optimized for a more streamlined presentation.
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MarketLive Mobile e-Commerce platform allows retailers to reach shoppers across all important touch points including PC, smartphone and now the Apple iPad.
MarketLive Mobile v2 is cross-platform and works on any connected device, without requiring extra development or add-ons, regardless of device type. The application, which renders a device-aware shopping experience, delivers a compelling, feature rich and graphically pleasing storefront and provides a means for retailers to immediately deliver relevant offers, promotions and products to increase sales and drive business across all channels, no matter what device the consumers are using. The entire solution (product, price and promotional data are all rolled into one) was designed to leverage a single administration console, product catalog, content engine, customer database, promotion engine, and personalization tool creating a truly comprehensive solution, enabling eCommerce across nearly every mobile device on the market.
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So if you are an e-Commerce site owner, it is time to make sure that you have a mobile e-Commerce strategy in store that’ll give you maximum exposure across all platforms. The possibilities of this sector are enormous to take things head-on and be at the cutting edge of mobile e-Commerce development. Remember that this may save you a customer. Creating a decent m-Commerce experience is more than allowing your customers to order from their phone, it’s an opportunity to be with your shoppers at all times, to deliver instant customer service, and support in-store sales staying top of mind and building your brand.
Besides, we have recently published an article exploring the most conspicuous mobile web design trends for 2011. You might be interested to have a look at them and find some graphic approaches to consider for your custom mobile designs.