Industry Bodies, Operator And Retailers Join Forces To Launch Cross-Industry M-Commerce Initiative

The Association of Interactive Media and Entertainment (AIME), The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) have come together to form the Mobile Commerce Joint Industry Committee (MCJIC). This initiative, has been established to ensure that businesses are prepared for the changes, opportunities and challenges that accompany the explosive growth in m-commerce.

MCJIC has been specifically set up to assist retailers, technology providers, consumers and regulators through education, research and the promotion of best practice to help drive the growth of m-commerce. It will cover all aspects of m-commerce, from mobile marketing and payments to site optimisation and services such as app creation, coupons and age verification.

This move follows a recent research collaboration between the three associations which found that more than half (59%) of UK retail brands expect their mobile revenues to increase over the next 12 months, with 94% regarding it as a real opportunity for their business.

The research highlights the need for retailers to move faster to keep pace with consumers. According to the IAB Consumer M-Commerce Study October 2010, 43% of people have transacted on their mobile phones, with 42% saying that they use their mobile as it is the easiest way to research and buy products.

Retailers have been slow to respond to the potential of m-commerce, with just four of the top 20 most frequently visited retailer websites being presently optimised for mobile, and only eight of the top 20 with any kind of mobile application at all. The research concluded that much more training and awareness is needed on the retailer side to maximise the mobile opportunity.

The Initiative, which is already gathering industry support, will be supported by a specially-appointed board with a rotating chairman position that represents expertise from the entire m-commerce value chain.

The full MCJIC board line-up is:

  • Steve Ricketts, Head of Mobile Marketing and Payment Services, Everything Everywhere
  • Toby Padgham, General Secretary, AIME
  • Jon Mew, Head of Mobile, IAB
  • Andrew McClelland, Director of Operations, IMRG

Each of the industry association representatives will be supported by additional members within the respective organisations. MCJIC also has as founding members:

  • Patrick Munden, Head of Seller Communications UK & Ireland, eBay UK
  • Richard Mann, Chief Operating Officer, Mobile Interactive Group
  • Nick Lansley, Head of R&D, Tesco Direct
  • Sienne Veit, Business Development Manager – New Technologies, M&S Direct

Commenting on the creation of the Initiative, Andrew McClelland, director of operations at IMRG said: “The number of big name retailers launching transactional sites and apps in 2010 proves mobile is a rapidly growing sales channel, yet many retailers aren’t confident they have enough knowledge in this area.

“We’ve set up the MCJIC initiative specifically to address this issue, and to give retailers guidance to find the right m-commerce strategy for them and grow the market in general. The team, made up of retailers, mobile specialists and industry bodies, will draw on their expertise from their place within the m-commerce value chain, and develop key projects including educational programs, research, best practice guidelines and standards for the benefit of all.”

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Christian Harris is editor and publisher of BCW. Christian has over 20 years' publishing experience and in that time has contributed to most major IT magazines and Web sites in the UK. He launched BCW in 2009 as he felt there was a need for honest and personal commentary on a wide range of business computing issues. Christian has a BA (Hons) in Publishing from the London College of Communication.