Mobile Commerce Round TableIn early June, we had Peer Summit-US, a semi-annual event that brings together people from all corners of the digital landscape. 

For those of you who came, thanks. Over 300 client side and agency types were there, sharing insider industry knowledge, partaking in intense debates, and socializing late into the evening, all at one of the nicest venues in the heart of New York City.  

In short, it was fun.

For those of you who couldn’t make the trip, this post is a taste of what you missed, pulled straight from the hallmark of a typical Econsultancy conference: the roundtables.

The roundtables are where most of the “peer” knowledge sharing goes down.  This year we set up 14 tables, each one with a separate topic and experienced moderator to help facilitate discussion. 

I had the good fortunate to check out a number of round tables at Peer Summit New York and enjoyed listening-in on some great debates.  

However, in honor of our recent Mobile Ecosystem infographic, authored by Mary Beth Schoening, I thought it would be fitting to do a post on the Mobile Commerce round table, which was, coincidentally, moderated by Mary Beth.  

The following is a summary of her notes on the table that she so artfully ruled over...

Reoccurring Questions

The discussion was lively and there were many questions that reappeared in the conversations we had.  Here are the most frequent questions about mobile commerce that came up:

  • What should I do first with mobile? How can mobile work for me?
  • Do I optimize my website for mobile or create a user experience that's different than a PC web experience?
  • How do I integrate mobile in with everything else? This was a common theme and was articulated in a number of ways such as 'How do I connect the dots?' or 'What should my allocation be in overall media mix?' or 'What role should mobile play within my overall marketing plan and in lead generation?

Common challenges

Many attendees appeared to face a common set of challenges. Among the shared challenges was the need to build a mobile marketing team and the need to build a mobile development team outside the company,which then could be a resource for their brand.  

Other shared challenges focused on figuring out which mobile analytics metrics were worth tracking and figuring out how to develop effective strategies around app promotion.

Some key takeaways 


Most of us (marketers and agency types) are too focused on optimizing the web experience for mobile users and forget about optimizing email for mobile. Email is one of the most prevalent activities for mobile users. 

We need to think about how to make our emails better for mobile in addition to optimizing the web experience.

Mobile user experience

It’s important to remember that the user experience (as well as the user expectation) is different on a mobile device than it is on a PC.  

The way users engage, the time they spend, and their habits of navigating are completely different. We need to understand these differences and build mobile websites with those differences in mind.

Multiple websites

Companies have a pain point around developing multiple websites for multiple devices – i.e. website for PC’s, website for mobile, website for tablets. Many complained that they “don’t have the resources”, and that “it’s too hard to maintain”.  

This seems to be a common concern, as making a change in content requires changing multiple sites.


Foursquare has numerous limitations, especially for mobile. Many have complained that Foursquare can’t properly capture data on their prospect/customers, which forces companies to use a “place punch” to fill in the gaps.  

Also, Foursquare seems to have issues handling QR coupons, or any coupons for that matter.

Mobile payments

It’s still too early to determine how well mobile wallet/mobile payments will do. The tie-in with POS systems is just not there yet and the infrastructure players are just starting to come together. 

As of yet, there is no standardization, which produces a lack of trust on the part of the user.  In time, we hope this will change...

Thanks again Mary Beth for moderating the Mobile Ecommerce roundtable. And many thanks to those who came to Peer Summit and made this a memorable event.  

If you missed out on this year's Peer Summit New York event, wait for our next round table notes or check out Peer Summit Chicago, which is a one day event in early October.

Lastly, if you were at the mobile commerce table or have more to add to the overall discussion on mobile, please add your comments below.  

Cleo Kirkland

Published 21 June, 2011 by Cleo Kirkland

Cleo Kirkland is a digital strategist at Blue Fountain Media and a contributor to Econsultancy

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Comments (3)


Name Tag

I, personally, am not a fan of foursquare. I find it much easier to you the 'places' page on the Facebook app to update your location.

about 7 years ago



At this point in time (2011), our companies almost have to be involved in as many social media mediums as possible... We do have to pick and choose our battles, and some avenues are better than others. Like you, we have passed on Foursquare because of its limitations.

about 7 years ago


William King

If you are starting a local business in USA then you need to focus smart phone. As there is a large number of iphone and ipad users in USA. So to target more and more customers and visitors for your site you have to design site for these. Also the ratio of mobile internet users is increasing rapidly then the desktop users and that is why big companies are going for m.sites.

about 7 years ago

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