August 4, 2011
Have you been sitting on the mobile commerce fence? Ready to make the jump? Good for you, but you may not be prepared for the maze of solutions and vendors at hand to help you implement your mCommerce strategy. The number of vendors and diversity of solutions in the market is quite staggering, and the search for the right solution may feel like shopping in a busy Moroccan market, with an overwhelming choice of wares and vendors bargaining hard for your dollars. Leaving with the right purchase is a daunting task.
However, before you rush into evaluating solutions and signing contracts, eBusiness professionals must take a step back and look at the different implementation paths open to them for mobile commerce. These are:
- Using technology from your existing eCommerce platform vendor.
- Outsourcing to your interactive agency or systems integration firm.
- Building it all in-house.
- Leveraging a mobile commerce point solution.
In my latest report, a market overview of mobile commerce solutions for retail, I look at 14 established mobile commerce point solutions that have particular strengths and a proven record of accomplishment in the retail sector. These vendors between them empower the mobile commerce sites and apps for an exhaustive list of who’s who in US and European retail. The report focuses on the respective strengths of the solutions with respect to the needs of retailers. The vendors we looked at were:
- Branding Brand
- Endeca Technologies
- Global Bay Mobile Technologies
- Kony Solutions
- No Need 4 Mirrors
- Unbound Commerce
One of the key issues that eBusiness professionals face when evaluating these solutions is how to integrate them into the existing eCommerce platform and infrastructure. For many retailers, budgets are limited and resources from IT are scarce. Furthermore, there is a desire among those yet to embrace mobile commerce to get in the game, fast. Complex, lengthy integration projects are not in favor.
A range of integration options exist from screen scraping and transcoding of existing website content through to sophisticated, API-enabled integrations with backend platforms. This topic is not one the eBusiness professional usually tackles (deferring normally to IT counterparts), but a high-level understanding of the integration options available to them is paramount to short-listing the vendors they should be evaluating. I, therefore, encourage you to also read my accompanying report Integration Challenges For Mobile Commerce.
I hope these research reports are valuable, and I look forward to your comments. Forrester clients who are keen to learn more about these solutions and factors they should consider when choosing a mobile commerce technology should schedule an inquiry with me to discuss further.