Why transcoders simply don’t work for your mobile eCommerce solution any longer


transcodingA very popular approach over the last five years was to hire a company to transcode your commerce site into a mobile experience. While this niche play was warranted five years ago it is no longer viable for a serious mobile channel presence. Today, most vendors, especially IBM and its business partners are building web applications with responsive design technology; so with a single code base you can target the different channels with the appropriate content for the specific device. This is a game changer for companies taking their mobile presence seriously. The latest WebSphere Commerce Feature Pack 6 is now compatible with Worklight. Meaning the responsive design and source code are being re-used on top of a services layer for optimal code re-use and content management.

Here are some key differentiation’s between a transcoder model and a responsive design model like Worklight.


  • Responsive design model can have targeted content to a device that is optimized by the precision marketing engine on the commerce site.
  • Alternative screen layouts based on device, targeted specifically for a device and a mobile experience.
  • Precision marketing can now take into account things like device location, the person, and the device when recommending content and products.


  • Since the code is not going through a transcoder you should see a performance gain.
  • Because the code is running on the server and not being transcoded you can implement a clear caching strategy that is optimized for each device.


  • Because the transcoder essentially “scrapes” the screen to create the mobile experience most eCommerce platforms do not have management tools to optimize the scraping methods. They are usually done at the JSP/Code layer – out of reach of a marketing person or business tool user.
  • Having the ability to target specific devices using business user tooling is key. A business user can define the rules behind the specific device and ultimately have total control of the mobile channel experience.

If you want to learn more about this make sure you sign up for the Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Nashville or Monaco. There will be many demonstrations about the latest mobile technologies in the Smarter Commerce space.

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