August 3, 2010, 1:29 PM

How to find good help in m-commerce

Understanding how mobile will be used helps merchants find the right providers, expert says.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

Keith Lietzke, chief marketing officer, Unbound Commerce

When looking for help in the field of mobile commerce, there are three points merchants should consider: how a mobile commerce site or app will be used, how much the retailer can repurpose from the e-commerce site on the m-commerce site or app, and how the site or app will be deployed, says Keith Lietzke, chief marketing officer at m-commerce technology provider Unbound Commerce.

Lietzke will discuss the relationship between merchant and technology provider in a session entitled Finding the right development help in creating a mobile presence at Mobile Commerce Forum 2010, Oct. 12-13 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

Lietzke says he will address in his conference presentation the need for retailers to make available to vendors executives throughout the organization. And Lietzke says a key point to managing a good relationship with a vendor that he will stress during his Mobile Commerce Forum address is the requirement that a retailer be comfortable with working in increments, which he says is the best approach to m-commerce, especially considering its fast pace.

Retailers also need to ask themselves various questions before embarking upon mobile efforts, he adds.

“What are the most important use cases to design your mobile site or app around? If the buyer is in their home or office, chances are they’d prefer to use a desktop device, which means that mobile will be used in different settings than your e-commerce site is used today,” Lietzke says. “What does this mean for your business? Is it OK for your mobile experience to be a clone of your existing web site? Might the buyer be in your store, or that of your competitor?” he asks. “Are they socializing with friends? Are they engaged in an activity? The mobile user experience you create needs to drive business value in entirely new settings.”

Then it’s important to figure out what elements of the e-commerce site should be featured in m-commerce and how these features and function should be rolled out, Lietzke says.

“What assets do you want to leverage in creating your mobile site or app? At minimum, your product content—name, price, description, images—of course,” he adds. “Then comes phasing: Is it important to deploy all the key features for your site or app at the time of initial launch? Or would you prefer a crawl/walk/run approach, in order to learn and adjust as you build out your mobile strategy?”

Why the editors asked Lietzke to speak:

Keith Lietzke is one of the most experienced practitioners in mobile commerce. His experience with mobile began in the 1980s with AT&T at the birth of cellular in the U.S. In 1990, Keith joined Appex, a software start-up building mobile applications that made national cellular roaming a reality in the U.S. Keith's mobile experience was wed to e-commerce when he joined e-commerce pioneer Open Market in 1996, where he met fellow Unbound Commerce co-founders. At Unbound Commerce, Keith has helped companies such as Finish Line and K&L Wines design and deploy successful mobile commerce sites.

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