I am very happy to have accepted a position on the UK’s Mobile Commerce Joint Industry Committee (MCJIC), the committee established to ensure that UK businesses are prepared for the changes, opportunities and challenges that accompany the explosive growth in mobile commerce.
The MCJIC has been formed by the Association of Interactive Media and Entertainment (AIME), The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) – the latter of which Tesco.com is a senate member. I have been representing Tesco.com at IMRG events over the past few years, and have become well known for my advocacy concerning bringing Tesco to any internet-connected device (with the customer’s permission!).
The MCJIC has been specifically set up to assist retailers, technology providers, consumers and regulators through the promotion of ‘best practice’ to help us all drive the growth of mobile-based commerce. It will cover all aspects of this form of commerce from mobile marketing and payment, to site optimisation, application development best practice, vouchers and coupons, and even the ability to verify someone’s age.
We’ll also engage in education, commission research and, as my driver, document best practice through the establishment of an online library.
The establishment of MCJIC results from recent research collaboration between the three associations (AIME, IAB and IMRG) which found 59% UK retail brands believe that their mobile revenues will increase in 2011, with 94% regarding it as a game-changing opportunity for their business.
My own involvement is to advocate best practice from a technical point of view. For example, when we have built Tesco apps for mobile phones, I have always made sure that the communications that has to take place between your Tesco app and our servers uses as few bytes of data as possible. Customers would not be happy if our apps bit deeply into their allocated monthly included data tariff, and I want to bring this level of thoughtfulness to all apps. So I want to build a library of good practice, with practical evidence that supports it.
I join several well-regarded peers on the MCJIC committee:
- Andrew McClelland, director of operations, IMRG
- Steve Ricketts, head of mobile marketing and payment services, Everything Everywhere*
- Toby Padgham, general secretary, AIME
- Jon Mew, head of mobile, IAB
- Patrick Munden, head of seller communications UK & Ireland, eBay UK
- Richard Mann, chief operating officer, Mobile Interactive Group
- Sienne Veit, business development manager – new technologies, M&S Direct
- and myself as head of R&D, Tesco.com
*Everything Everywhere is the joint collaboration of UK mobile providers Orange and T-Mobile.