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Hi Everyone: I wanted to share a very fun announcement from my company, mShopper!

August 27th, 2010

mShopper is a Boulder, CO technology start-up that developed an easy, fast, and amazingly affordable way to help any retailer sell products on all mobile phones. We’re gearing up for our commercial launch after Labor Day and just launched a little teaser marketing campaign leading up to the launch. I attached a link to the first of two videos; the second video comes out next week. You can watch the video at http://www.mshopper.com. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks everyone!

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Native app or Web app? Part 1

March 2nd, 2010

Ok, so you decided to go mobile. Phew.  Now it’s all downhill, right?  Sadly, the answer is no.  Your decision making is about to get a whole heck of a lot more complicated.  And your first decision is an epic one:  Do I go “native” or “web app”?  First, to be safe and clear (and at the risk of annoying some really smart readers), I want to make sure everyone understands the difference. 

 A native app is an application that (1) gets downloaded from a remote server or app store (like Apple’s App Store), (2)  remains resident in the user’s handset, (3) was specifically written for a specific device, (4) probably won’t work on other devices (ok, there is Java…),  (5) can access cool device APIs like the camera, address book, GPS chips, accelerometers, (6) can optimize the device’s processor and memory management, and whole lot of other features that can make for a compelling mobile experience. 

A web app is a mobile-optimized web site. It resides on a server and is accessed and viewed through the devices’ web browsers.  Because the web app is not downloaded to the device, the app cannot (yet) avail most of the device APIs and cool gadgets.  But web apps are a (a bit) easier to build, version and deploy.

Ahh, the beauty of going mobile… Yes folks, it’s the Wild West out there.  There are no standards.  There are hundreds of devices and Smartphones.  They all have different operating systems, screen sizes and nuanced little quirks.  And then there are whole arrays of native application environments… IPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian.

So how does one make this epic decision?  How does one create a great mobile presence without going crazy, breaking the bank, or both?  These are all great questions.  And right now, the raging or at least simmering debate amongst mobile mavens is which way to go?  Native or web…

The answer is hard to understand.  For some, you will have no choice.  If your business model depends on accessing a camera to take a photo of a bar code, then you are going native.  If you want to avail location based services, then native is for you.  But if your needs are simpler, then a web app may be the best way to go. 

And remember this:  designing, building your mobile presence marks the beginning of your mobile business, not the end.  Once you launch your mobile presence, you now have to plan for marketing, distribution, merchandising and all the other requirements that currently go into managing your e-Commerce web presence.

Still, I have not answered the question, have I?  I’ll save that for my next blog entry.  Stay tuned…

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What does Best Buy know about Mobile Commerce that you don’t?

February 14th, 2010

Best Buy continues to go mobile, in a big way.  The company recently announced that they intend to heavily emphasize mobile marketing in 2010 and beyond.  Why?  Well, the bottom line is this:  people are mobile.  They are out and about in lives that get busier and more hectic with each passing day.  And the common thread is their cell phone.  It is how people stay connected (an odd metaphor considering phones are wireless) even as their lives get crazier.  And now, finally, with the deployment of legitimate broadband wireless networks and devices that actually make being connected somewhat enjoyable, the truth is that if your brand is not mobile, then your brand is not present precisely where your customers are.  As a marketer, that should not be a risk your brand should take.

Of course, going mobile is hard.  The mobile web (and app world), is not the web.  Successful marketing requires a whole new tool box of skills that range from technology to marketing to psychology.  There are no standards in the mobile world.  There are 1000s of handsets, each with different screen sizes, operating systems, and web browsers.  Do you go mobile web or app?  In fact, what is the difference?  Oh and just what is a mobile shopper looking for?  (Hint: save time; save money)  Still, put aside all these difficulties because the question,  “Do I go mobile or not?” is moot. 

Here is how I see it:  Your customers are mobile.  Your competitors are  mobile. Are you?  I think that on my next post, I will discuss how and why the mobile web places incredible pressure on the static web.  Remember, we live in a world that values present value…

By way of disclosure, my company, mShopper, makes going mobile easy.  We operate the world’s only SaaS, self service, turnkey mobile enablement platform.  Feel free to check it out…

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Mobile Marketing News today

January 4th, 2010

Mobile Commerce: Survey Finds 17% Of US Adults Use Mobile Banking, Mobile Web & SMS Leading Methods – Mobile Market… http://ow.ly/16wU3l

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