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NRF Releases Blueprint for Retailers to Leverage Mobile Technology

For Immediate Release
Kathy Grannis (202) 783-7971 or grannisk@nrf.com 

View NRF’s Mobile Retailing Blueprint 

NRF Releases Blueprint for Retailers to Leverage Mobile Technology

Washington, July 7, 2010 – Thanks to features like texting, GPS and web browsing, mobile phones have quickly become a necessity many consumers cannot live without. Nearly three-quarters of retailers are exploring mobile strategies, according to a recent Shop.org survey.  However, 62 percent of retailers have either not yet begun or are only in the early stages of planning their mobile strategy. This alarming gap shows that many retailers are not prepared to leverage the industry’s newest channel.

With mobile commerce representing a major growth area for retail, the National Retail Federation, through its Mobile Retail Initiative, has unveiled the first version of the Mobile Retailing Blueprint. The blueprint is a virtual roadmap for retailers to assist in the use of mobile to enhance their marketing, ecommerce and store operations with a special section on implementation planning and technology. 

The blueprint also explains multiple secure mobile payment processes that can provide customer convenience and lower processing costs. The blueprint is designed to help retailers answer the following questions.

·  How can mobile retailing improve my business?

·  What technologies and standards apply in the mobile field?

·  What implementation options should be considered?

·  What capabilities do mobile phones currently offer?

·  What types of mobile applications help consumers shop?

·  What are the choices for mobile payment?

·  What types of mobile applications help associates be more efficient?

A complimentary copy of the 176-page blueprint is now available through the Mobile Retail Initiative’s web site. (www.nrf.com/mobile)

“The Mobile Retailing Blueprint is the definitive document to help retailers adopt a mobile strategy that makes sense for their organization,” said NRF President and CEO Matt Shay. “As smartphones and other mobile devices become more technologically advanced, so too will retailers with the help of this collaborative research. We believe it will serve as a window for industry standards that will guide retailers’ adoption of mobile for years to come.”

The mobile blueprint was developed by NRF's Mobile Blueprint Committee, chaired by Richard Mader, Executive Director of ARTS; with Vice Chairs from Oracle, Smart Card Alliance and CellPoint Mobile. 

More than 30 companies representing a diverse group of retailers, service providers, and leading mobile association partners contributed to the blueprint.

“The first step in creating a successful mobile strategy is knowledge and planning,” said Delaney Bellinger, Chief Information Officer, YUM! Brands, Inc. “The blueprint has input from some of the most innovative retailers in the mobile space making it the definitive roadmap for everything mobile.”

“For many retailers, mobile isn’t about the future, it’s about the present,” said Francisca Vicente-Tamarin, Information Technology Consultant, El Corte Inglés, S.A. (a European department store with annual sales of 17.8 billion) “The Mobile Retailing Blueprint is a major step forward in the adoption of best practices that will revolutionize the shopping experience for all of our customers.”

With the first version of the blueprint available to the industry, the Mobile Retail Initiative will launch a series of initiatives to continue its mission to help the industry adopt global standards in mobile commerce. These initiatives include special events for knowledge sharing, releasing the second version of the blueprint to further define best practices and standards to ease implementation of mobile based on reader feedback, and producing new research to help the retail industry understand the role of mobile commerce plays in the global economy.

The National Retail Federation’s Mobile Retail Initiative (MRI) brings together the collaborative strengths of NRF's IT standards division, ARTS; digital division, Shop.org; marketing division, RAMA and NRF's CIO Council. The Initiative will lead the industry in the development and dissemination of mobile-related best practices, standards to ensure global acceptance, original research, and educational events for the retail industry as it relates to m-commerce, marketing, operations and alternative payment methods.  

As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2009 sales of $2.3 trillion. www.nrf.com.