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Mobile gets ringing endorsement at summit + Photos

September 24, 2009

Hey, big seller! EForcity CEO Jack Sheng, eBays largest seller, at the eBay/Mobile Marketer table during eBay CEO John Donohoes keynote presentation Sept. 23 at Shop.orgs annual summit

Hey, big seller! EForcity CEO Jack Sheng, eBay's largest seller, at the eBay/Mobile Marketer table during eBay CEO John Donohoe's keynote presentation Sept. 23 at's annual summit

LAS VEGAS – When mobile gets a salute instead of a coachmen’s nod from the CEOs of Macy’s and eBay in their keynotes, it is time to acknowledge a simple fact: that the mobile commerce train is taking off.

Macy’s boss Terry Lundgren proudly announced the imminent launch of an ambitious iPhone application for Bloomingdale’s on day one of this most prestigious annual event for online retailers.

Day two, eBay’s John Donohoe – “the pain from Bain,” an allusion to his previous employer – spent almost half his keynote waving his iPhone and boasting that his company would generate $400 million in gross merchandise sales this year from the eBay iPhone application.

Indeed, that milestone makes eBay the No. 1 mobile retail marketplace worldwide.

To top it all, Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, in her keynote following Mr. Lundgren’s, said marketers should “like social media, but love mobile.”

The same afternoon, retailers and retail service providers gathered to listen to key decision-makers at Harrah’s, Fandango and Moosejaw discuss their various initiatives in a session titled, “Mobile Commerce: The Next Frontier for Retail.” About 300 executives sat through that hour-long session, asking nearly 30 questions.

Hard to believe, then, that this was an ecommerce event and not a mobile conference.

Harder still to believe that this was claimed as one of the most successful annual summits: an estimated 2,600 delegates including exhibitor passes in the nation?s worst recession since the great recession.

Credit for organizing a focused and well-run show goes to executive director Scott Silverman and vice president of content Larry Joseloff and their team.

While other shows lack not only attendance and enthusiasm, annual summit proved that the Web, be it wired or mobile, continues its untrammeled growth.

Traffic on the show floor was brisk. The chatter there and in the various sessions was about social media, video and mobile.

Asked about their mobile initiatives, many ecommerce vendors on the show floor said they intended to look at mobile but did not have any offerings. The exceptions were Digby, Naviscent, Silverpop, ExactTarget and Web Spiders.

Perhaps the vendors should have attended the mobile commerce session moderated by yours truly. In a show of hands, most attendees said they intended to launch mobile marketing and commerce programs by end of next year.

Here are some pictures from the annual summit:

Retailers listening to eBay CEO John Donohoe’s keynote Sept 23 at’s annual summit

From left to right: Harrah’s Entertainment’s Neal Narayani and Moosejaw’s Gary Wohlfeil

Delegates attending the mobile commerce session Sept. 22 at annual summit

Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru after her keynote at’s annual summit Sept. 22

Fandango’s Ted Hong and Harrah’s Neal Narayani at the mobile commerce panel Sept. 23

Mobile Marketer’s Giselle Tsirulnik at the Wynn

Mobile Marketer’s Mickey Alam Khan and Giselle Tsirulnik

Microsoft offer on annual summit show floor

Bright guy: Brian Tessler from The Pro’s on the annual summit show floor

Content with the summit’s performance: Larry Joseloff, vice president of content at

Crowds at the


Talking shop at the annual summit show floor

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Mickey Alam Khan is editor in chief of Mobile Commerce Daily, Mobile Marketer and Luxury Daily. Reach him at

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