Greenwich Hedge Fund lauds mobile-shopping report

Greenwich-based hedge fund Prentice Capital, which invests in consumer and retail equity stocks, put out a release on Thursday touting a December report that one-third of online shoppers now are only using their mobile devices when shopping on the web.

The initial report was put out by web and mobile measurement firm comScore Inc., according to the release.

Prentice Capital, which was founded in 2005 by Michael Zimmerman, has “long held the view that retailers need strong branding and well-planned online & mobile shopping platforms” and thinks that this report — or, at least the data behind it — will further pressure retailers to build out their mobile commerce sites and apps, the release said.

Zimmerman, it’s worth noting, managed investments in the retail and consumer sector for S.A.C. Capital Management from 2000 to 2005.

Here’s the rest of the press release, which seeks to build a case that dovetails with Zimmerman’s thinking.

“Only two-thirds of indexed brands have mobile-optimized sites, and yet a full third of those don’t allow consumers to shop from those sites, New York research firm L2 noted. Many also fail to provide the full range of content available on their desktop sites, including product search and user ratings, to mobile audiences.

Only two-thirds of indexed brands have mobile-optimized sites, and yet a full third of those don’t allow consumers to shop from those sites, New York research firm L2 noted. Many also fail to provide the full range of content available on their desktop sites, including product search and user ratings, to mobile audiences.

Prentice Capital’s Zimmerman believes that despite fewer shoppers in store, sales are increasingly driven by sofa shoppers wielding tablet computers. Considering that an estimated 64 million new iPhones and iPads are already in consumers hands during the last quarter of 2013, the new year could be a breakthrough year for mobile shoppers, particularly if businesses continue to adapt to mCommerce, engaging their client base with new and innovative methods.

Online retail sales grew by 1.4% in December 2013 compared with the previous month, and by 9.9% compared with December 2012 [2]. With parabolic mCommerce sales trends, optimizing for mobile shoppers by developing a mobile commerce web site or responsive design site, and possibly a mobile app – is a must today for retailers of all sizes. Otherwise, Zimmerman believes, they will lose a huge amount of traffic from online customers who only visit and shop on mobile devices.

Scott Galloway, an NYU Stern professor of marketing and creator of L2, stated “Given the evidence, we seem to be entering the start of a persistent mobile age… Brands ignore this shift at their own peril.” [3].

Michael Zimmerman’s Prentice Capital is an employee owned financial investment advisory firm headquartered in Greenwich, founded in 2005 by Zimmerman. The fund primarily invests in consumer and retail equity stocks. Zimmerman also sits as Chairman of the Board of directors at dELiA*s Inc.”

Categories: General
Tim Loh