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GPShopper Fills Research Role With mCommerce Journalism Vet Bill Siwicki

Siwicki is the interactive retail platform’s first VP of Mobile Strategy and Research.

Mobile retail platform provider GPShopper has hired Bill Siwickias VP of Mobile Strategy and Research.

GPShopper's Bill Siwicki
GPShopper’s Bill Siwicki

This is a new role, one that will see Siwicki serve as a special advisor to GPShopper’s retail clients, leading strategy sessions and building omnichannel mobile roadmaps for top chain and web-only retail players, a rep for the company told GeoMarketing.

The addition of a dedicated research and insights executive is part of a broadening GPShopper’s client service strategy, particularly as more retailers and brands find themselves beginning to explore online-to-offline marketing.

“Inviting Bill to provide enhanced research and strategy services to our client base speaks to our great respect for his extensive m-commerce knowledge and journalistic work in the field,” the GPShopper rep said.

Siwicki has spent more than 10 years covering the evolving mCommerce space, mostly recently, in his role as mobile editor at Internet Retailer. In making the move from the edit side to the marketing side, Siwicki plans to make his case for 2015 is the most important year yet for mobile commerce.

GeoMarketing: What changes have you seen over the years in mobile commerce? What phase of change are you currently seeing?

Bill Siwicki: After 13 years in mobile? Too many to list! Remember the [Apple] Newton?

The thing about mobile technology and mobile commerce is that they are in a constant state of change. Consumers have adopted mobile technologies faster than any other technology in history.

And they continue to adopt and use mobile tech faster than most retailers. To be more precise, at this point in time, I would say the biggest change happening is the use of mobile in stores by consumers.

There was showrooming in the past, by some, but today the smartphone is a personal shopping assistant for most people, and chain retailers are woefully behind in bringing the wonders of web shopping into the store. That’s the big change happening now, especially with developments like Apple Pay and beacons and wearables. With mobile, it’s always exciting.

How did your work at Internet Retailer lead to your current role at GPShopper?

I was editor, Mobile, at Internet Retailer, where I covered the first 10 years of mobile commerce. Researching and writing about the market for that long and during that period has given me a perspective and deep background that very few people have, which is why executives at GPShopper wanted me on their team —to continue my research and writing, but also to provide hands-on help with retailers as the organizations craft their mobile strategies to best serve their customers.

Working as a journalist and editor requires a different focus from serving a company’s marketing department. Why do you think this is the right fit for both of you?

Plain and simple: Because we both know that mobile technology is the future of online and in-store shopping. Period. There are so many retail executives that have yet to “get it.” Well, the consumer “got it” awhile ago. Now it’s time for retail to catch up.

How is 2015 a groundbreaking year for the space?

Mobile traffic to retail websites is past 50 percent. Consumers spend about two-thirds of their time with online retail on a mobile device. Smartphone penetration is around 70 percent. I would expect mobile commerce sales as a percent of total web sales to at minimum hit 40 percent this holiday season.

People simply are moving more and more of their Internet activities to their smartphones, which are bigger and more powerful than ever. The landmark will be when the majority of web sales are on mobile devices–smartphones and tablets — and when chain retailers in large numbers begin to effectively use mobile technologies to increase in-store sales, which some chains are beginning to do.

What initial projects will you be working on? What are you goals for the next few months?

I will be releasing a special report soon based on chats with some industry leaders. I have speaking engagements coming up. I have many new people to meet and places to visit. And I’m looking forward to my first work in the trenches of mobile commerce, with the retailers themselves, mapping out strategies that will make shopping much more efficient and much more fun.