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With mobile commerce representing a major growth area for retail, the National Retail Federation, through its Mobile Retail Initiative (www.nrf.com/mobile), has unveiled the first version of the Mobile Retailing Blueprint — a virtual road map for retailers to assist in the use of mobile to enhance their marketing, e-commerce and store operations, with a special section on implementation planning and technology.
“The Mobile Retailing Blueprint [was developed] to help retailers adopt a mobile strategy that makes sense for their organization,” said Matt Shay, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based NRF. “As smartphones and other mobile devices become more technologically advanced, so, too, will retailers with the help of this collaborative research. We believe it will serve as a window for industry standards that will guide retailers’ adoption of mobile for years to come.”
According to a recent Shop.org survey, nearly three-quarters of retailers are exploring mobile strategies. However, 62 percent have either not yet begun or are only in the early stages of planning their mobile strategy.
The blueprint is designed to help retailers answer the following questions:
—How can mobile retailing improve my business?
—What technologies and standards apply in the mobile field?
—What implementation options should be considered?
—What capabilities do mobile phones currently offer?
—What types of mobile applications help consumers shop?
—What are the choices for mobile payment?
—What types of mobile applications help associates be more efficient?
The blueprint also explains multiple secure mobile payment processes that can provide customer convenience and lower processing costs.
A complimentary copy of the 176-page blueprint is now available through the Mobile Retail Initiative’s Web site.
The mobile blueprint was developed by NRF's Mobile Blueprint Committee, chaired by Richard Mader, executive director of ARTS and featuring vice chairs from Oracle, Smart Card Alliance and CellPoint Mobile.
With the first version of the blueprint available to the industry, the Mobile Retail Initiative will launch a series of programs to continue its mission to help the industry adopt global standards in mobile commerce. These include special events for knowledge sharing, releasing the second version of the blueprint to further define best practices and standards to ease implementation of mobile based on reader feedback, and producing new research to help the retail industry understand the role that mobile commerce plays in the global economy.
NRF’s Mobile Retail Initiative (MRI) brings together the collaborative strengths of the trade association’s IT standards division, ARTS; digital division; Shop.org’s marketing division; and RAMA and NRF’s CIO Council. The initiative aims to lead the industry in the development and dissemination of mobile-related best practices, standards to ensure global acceptance, original research, and educational events, with regard to m-commerce, marketing, operations and alternative payment methods.