Robust mobile commerce platforms are no longer a “nice to have” for retail organizations. A recent and Forrester Research survey indicates that smartphone sales accounted for 17% of total retail sales in 2015, and that sales from smartphone devices grew 53% year-over-year.

With mobile’s stake now planted so firmly in the ground, it is critical that the technology solutions used to support transactional mobile sites and apps provide the scalability and flexibility required today to stay ahead of the innovation curve tomorrow. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that the Forrester Wave evaluation of mobile commerce and engagement platforms is now live.

Among mobile commerce and engagement platforms, which Forrester defines as commercial solution partners for the technology, development, and/or ongoing support of their mobile websites and/or mobile apps, we have identified four core competency traits. These include:

  • An obsession for mobile commerce trends and metrics. The best of these vendors do not just build and support mobile technology; they live and breathe mobile commerce — it’s in their DNA. This means they are at the forefront of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to how mobile experiences support conversion metrics.
  • A continually evolving, common platform on which they support all of their clients. Unlike traditional agencies, these vendors are not building tailored capabilities for each client. Instead they onboard all of their clients onto a common (often software-as-a-service [SaaS] based) platform.
  • They are fast to adopt and bring to market new device capabilities. The best of these vendors are quick to build support for new OS capabilities (e.g., Apple Wallet), new device categories (e.g., 7-inch tablets), and emerging mobile development standards (e.g., HTML5 and responsive design) into their platforms.
  • They have a portfolio of prebuilt commerce modules. When working with a mobile commerce solution provider, there should be no need to reinvent the wheel. These vendors have prebuilt tried and tested modules that support both common and less mainstream mobile commerce scenarios.

We evaluated vendors on their mobile website and mobile app solutions across 41 criteria. To see how the 10 vendors – Branding Brand, GPShopper, Mad Mobile, Mobify, Moovweb, mShopper, No Need 4 Mirrors, Poq, Skava, and Usablenet – stacked up, please read the report. It is important to remember that this research is intended to be a starting point only and we encourage clients to review the detailed product evaluations and adapt the criteria weightings to fit their individual needs through Forrester Wave’s Excel-based vendor comparison tool (the link is in the right-hand column under the “Tools & Templates” heading). We also encourage clients to leverage their Inquiry access to learn more about these vendors before embarking on a selection process.