Sears Mobile Move Illustrates The Mobile E-Tail Challenge

When Sears rolled out its mobile effort (Sears2go) this month, it illustrated the challenges for a retailer trying to craft a clean and stable mobile strategy at a time of extreme flux for the mobile space.

In a sense, the first decision on mobile a retail chain needs to make is the cellphone's equivalent of the age-old buy-versus-build debate. Do you take your full-fledged E-Commerce site and strip out almost all of the images and the most sophisticated functionality until it's barely one step ahead of pure ASCII? Or do you add an extensive layer—most likely outsourced—that tries to interpret and translate queries and responses from your full Web site into something a smartphone can handle? Read more.