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SLI Systems Mobile Commerce Survey Cites Lag in Retailer Preparedness to Meet M-Commerce Upswing

As Mobile Subscriber Numbers Skyrocket Worldwide and Retail Sales on Mobile Sites Grow, 80% of E-Commerce Companies Are Not Prepared With a Mobile Commerce Strategy

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 06/08/10 -- Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition -- According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), mobile subscribers will surpass five-billion this year, moving the mobile Internet closer to overtaking the PC as the most popular way to get on the web. Additionally, the Coda Research Consultancy reports that U.S. mobile commerce sales hit $1.20 billion in 2009 and will grow to $2.42 billion this year. Despite this rapid growth, a new survey of more than 400 online retailers from SLI Systems, provider of on-demand, intelligent search services for Internet and e-commerce sites, shows that the majority (80%) of e-commerce companies do not have mobile commerce (m-commerce) strategies in place.

Currently, 83% of e-commerce organizations say between 1-10% of visitors come to their sites from mobile browsers, while 12% cite that 11-20% get to their sites through the mobile web. And, those numbers are expected to grow quickly. A recent Gartner report states that by 2011, over 85 percent of new handsets will be able to access the mobile Web. According to Shaun Ryan, CEO of SLI Systems, "This represents a significant opportunity for companies that have optimized their sites for mobile use, and also shows that many retailers are still in wait-and-see mode. With such rapid growth expected in mobile commerce, online retailers that are preparing now for the influx of new business the mobile web represents stand to benefit significantly."

While many online retailers may be slow to adopt m-commerce, most recognize the opportunity and plan to address it in the near future. Fifty-six percent (56%) believe a mobile commerce strategy is very important or important to their overall business and 38% say it is important for driving sales. The majority (70%) plan to embark on an m-commerce strategy within the next two years. The lack of urgency in establishing an m-commerce business may be attributed to the fact that most e-commerce organizations don't believe it will significantly affect their sales in the near future. Only thirty-eight percent (38%) of those polled believe m-commerce will be somewhat important to their holiday campaigns this year, while 62% say it will not be important.

Other Survey Highlights

Mobile Commerce Site Features:

  • Of those polled, 79% say site search is important to a mobile website strategy and 61% are confident site search capabilities on a mobile site will generate additional conversions.
  • The top four features online retailers cite as the most important to enhancing the m-commerce experience are navigation (73%), site search (59%), product pages (54%) and product reviews (40%).

Mobile Commerce Site Development:

  • For companies looking to build their m-commerce sites, 31% will utilize in-house resources, 28% will outsource the work to a third party developer, 36% will use a combination of both in-house and outsourced resources and the remainder are unsure.

Mobile Commerce Apps:

  • Fifty-one percent (51%) of e-commerce companies do not consider the iPad to be a mobile device (they say iPad users can utilize their current website); yet 31% will direct iPad to their mobile site.
  • Only 22% of e-commerce organizations have developed shopping apps for platforms including iPhone, Android, iPad and BlackBerry, while 49% are planning on creating apps, but don't currently have one; and 29% are not planning on creating apps at all.

Survey Methodology
The "2010 Mobile Commerce Survey" was conducted online by Zoomerang on behalf of SLI Systems. The poll, which gathered feedback from 419 e-commerce business managers and executives globally, was conducted from May 24 to June 1, 2010.

About SLI Systems
SLI Systems is the developer of learning-based search and navigation technology for corporate Internet sites, e-commerce destinations and consumer Internet portals that Searches, Learns and Improves the user experience. SLI Systems' hosted site search and user-generated SEO solutions empower businesses to enhance customer satisfaction while increasing sales, reducing costs and yielding valuable customer information. Unlike traditional search software, SLI Systems' patented technology continuously "learns" from the behavior of visitors over time to deliver more relevant results. SLI Systems is a privately held company, with offices in Silicon Valley, London, and Christchurch, New Zealand. For more information, visit www.sli-systems.com, or see the company's blog at http://blog.sli-systems.com/.

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