Lately, we’ve been beating the mobile drum pretty loudly. A few weeks ago, we announced our new SLI Mobile solution to help retailers quickly create a mobile version of their websites. And just last week, we announced that one of our customers – Century Novelty – worked with us to create its mobile site in a matter of days, in order to capture the growing numbers of mobile shoppers the company was already seeing.

Some in the industry think it’s just too early for companies to be worrying about mobile. That’s not our take, based on the experience many of our customers have had in seeing a steady growth in numbers of visitors to their sites from mobile devices. As Ian MacDonald of Century Novelty explained to us, over the past year they noticed a small percentage of sales actually coming from mobile devices. The amount wasn’t significant, but it was enough that they couldn’t ignore it.

Last week, the results of a recent NRF survey on mobile shopping were published by Evan Schuman in StorefrontBacktalk, showing that our thinking is correct – as many American consumers say they expect to shop by mobile device this holiday season. According to StorefrontBacktalk, exact numbers are hard to pin down due to the possibility that respondents may not have answered the questions in the same way (e.g. some may have treated social networking recommendations or texting friends as “conducting research” while others may not have), or because some people may not think today that they’ll shop via mobile device but come December they might. Still, the data is compelling. Of 8,767 consumers surveyed, 26.8% said they would use their smartphones to either research or make a purchase during the holidays this year; and of those in the 18 to 24 age range, 45% said they would.

Evan also mentions that his site conducted a survey with Forrester Research that showed an “alarmingly high percentage of retailers (21.3%) who said they have no plans for any M-Commerce programs in the next 18 months. And almost half of those surveyed choose ‘none of these’ when asked if they allow customers through a mobile site or a dedicated application.” In our own M-commerce survey from earlier this year, we found that 80% of retailers surveyed say they have no mobile commerce strategy in place, while at the same time, 83% of those surveyed said that between 1-10% of site visitors come from mobile devices.

While the numbers vary from survey to survey, one thing is clear: there is an audience today on the mobile platform, and that audience will only continue to grow in the months ahead. Retailers who choose to sit on the sidelines until this market is more mature may miss out on an opportunity to garner more sales, and possibly lose customers along the way.

For retailers who are eager to get started but are reticent to spend a lot of time and resources on a mobile site, a solution like SLI Mobile is ideal – it can help you create a site in a week or less, with minimal involvement from your team. And the expense is nominal. If you’re hesitating, don’t. We’re ready to help you today. Contact us now.