Industry Bodies, Operators and Retailers Unite to Form MCJIC

The Association of Interactive Media and Entertainment (AIME), The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) have come together to form the Mobile Commerce Joint Industry Committee (MCJIC).

The initiative has been established to ensure that businesses are prepared for the changes, opportunities and challenges that accompany the explosive growth in mCommerce.

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 mCommerce. It will cover all aspects of mCommerce, from mobile marketing and payments, to site optimisation, and services such as app creation, coupons and age verification.   

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

The research highlighted the need for retailers to move faster to keep pace with consumers. According to the IAB Consumer M-Commerce Study, October 2010, 43 per cent of people have transacted on their mobile phones, with 42 per cent 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 mommerce, 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 widespread industry support, will be supported by a specially-appointed board, with a rotating chairman position, that represents expertise from the entire mCommerce 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; and 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; and Sienne Veit, business development manager – new technologies, M&S Direct.

“The number of big name retailers launching transactional sites and apps in 2010 proves mobile is a rapidly growing sales channel, yet many retailers arent confident they have enough knowledge in this area,” says the IMRGs Andrew McClelland. “Weve set up the MCJIC initiative specifically to address this issue, and to give retailers guidance to find the right mCommerce 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 mcommerce value chain, and develop key projects including educational programs, research, best practice guidelines and standards for the benefit of all.”