David Sikora serves as president and chief executive officer of Digby, which runs the mobile Web sites and applications of retailers ranging from Lilly Pulitzer to 1-800-Flowers.com. The tech veteran said mobile sales are poised to begin taking off as much as online retailing did a decade ago.

“Frankly, for the first couple of years, it just kind of bounced along and popped up a little bit, went down a little bit,” he said. “The inflection point was about Q2 to Q3 of 2009, which is when the adoption of smartphones reached the 15 to 17 percent range, which was a critical accelerator for e-commerce as well. When broadband adoption in the home reached the 15 to 20 percent range, that’s when e-commerce really started taking off.…We are here and it’s happening and it’s still quite early.”

This story first appeared in the June 30, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Sikora pointed out there are 3.3 billion cell phones in the world, but only about 80 million to 100 million are smartphones and said to expect an adoption rush in the next five to eight years.

He told the crowd to keep “mobile moments” in mind as they develop a strategy for the channel and said such moments don’t have to be transactional, citing the goodwill Facebook earns every time a mobile phone user uploads a picture. He added that mobile storefronts, whether Web or app based, should be planned for ease of use and be optimized for whatever device on which they appear.

“Think about simplicity — think about fewer choices, but quicker tasks, snappier experiences,” he said. “Recognize that there is elegance in speed and simplicity. Don’t try to do too much too fast. Start off with one or two things done really well.”

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