John Lewis has today launched a mobile version of its retail website, johnlewis.com.

The launch follows that of another clothes retailer, Marks & Spencer, which created a version of its website for mobile devices earlier this year.

Customers can access the mobile site via the usual URL, or by typing m.johnlewis.com into their browser, and purchase items as they would through the non-mobile site.

John Lewis developed the new mobile site in partnership with mobile-web platform Usablenet.

The retailer is also planning to develop an app, for an early 2011 release, that will “focus more on the experience and personal relationship” that customers have with the John Lewis.

Jonathan Brown, head of online selling at John Lewis, said: “Our customers’ appetite for mobile commerce has grown enormously and our focus has been on developing a site with a seamless experience. Mobile is a vital part of our vision to become the leading multi-channel retailer in the UK, so watch this space for future developments.”

John Lewis

Other retailers that have launched mobile sites and apps this year include Sainsbury and Tesco.

Meanwhile, analyst house Forrester has warned businesses to carefully consider the benefits of developing an app before succumbing to “application hype”.