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Debenhams and Littlewoods address need for m-commerce platforms

06 June 2013 - 12:45 by Paul Tissington

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Many big high street names have felt the pressure placed on them by the growth in shopping online and there is a clear need for bricks and mortar retailers to take a multichannel approach, if they want to survive.

This week, representatives from both Debenhams and Littlewoods spoke about the advantages and challenges which face them in the m-commerce sphere, which is the market that retailers of their calibre are now required to address.

Debenhams Direct spokesperson, Ashley Payne, said that the company is having to take a gradual approach to m-commerce adoption, since it does not have a huge amount of resources which can be pumped into this area, according to V3.co.uk.

Payne explained that it did not want to deliver a disappointing mobile experience to customers, although it feels that there is also a need to be cautious about rushing to launch mobile services, for fear that they will be half-baked.

One thing which will continue to influence safe shopping online in the mobile space is 4G, which is set to become more widely available in the UK later this year.

Payne believes that 4G will make a big difference to how tablet users in particular view the Debenhams site, since with faster speeds, it will make more sense for them to access the desktop version of the e-commerce service, rather than the less taxing mobile optimised edition.

For Littlewoods, the challenge appears to come from social media integration, because there is a need for retailers to leverage services like Facebook and Twitter, to engage customers.

In addition, this retailer has only recently been able to update its internal security systems so that Facebook can actually be accessed by those who need to control the retailer's presence on this particular platform.

Although e-commerce and m-commerce remain difficult for some retailers to master, those making the effort are reaping the rewards.