March 9, 2011, 2:16 PM

A good e-commerce relationship can blossom into solid m-commerce

An IRCE speaker says to stick with an e-commerce vendor when going mobile.

Lead Photo

Jim McLaughlin of H20 Plus


In the early days of mobile commerce, pioneering retailers turned to start-up technology providers that specialized in mobile optimization and mobile app development. Last year things began to change. A laundry list of e-commerce providers added mobile commerce to their platform offerings, and they began to flip the mobile switch on numerous retailer clients.

The question is: What does a vendor that provides an array of commerce technology offerings bring to the table that an m-commerce specialist cannot? Jim McLaughlin, vice president of business development at H2O Plus, will speak on the subject in a session entitled “Can your e-commerce provider give you m-commerce expertise?” between 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. on June 17 at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in San Diego.

H20 Plus took the m-commerce plunge last year, and did so with its e-commerce vendor MarketLive Inc.  McLaughlin says nothing can replace the deep relationships that have been established with an e-commerce vendor, which already understands the retailer’s business and behind-the-scenes technology set-up.

“There are several foregone benefits that a single provider relationship can provide that are often overlooked when the pressure is on to add a new capability such as mobile commerce,” says McLaughlin. “These can include things such as leveraging existing content, personal relationships with vendor employees, in-depth business understanding, and knowledge of past successes and challenges—all of which take a long time to develop with a new provider.”

 “When it comes to important new trends like mobile commerce, retailers may feel pressured to change what has worked and go with something new,” he says. “My presentation will discuss the importance of understanding the strategic value of your e-commerce platform provider, and why H2O Plus decided to implement its mobile commerce initiative with MarketLive rather than opt for a mobile commerce vendor.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked McLaughlin to speak because he has been managing the online channel for H2O Plus since 1998, from its beginnings in direct brand selling in online beauty to its current global multi-site endeavors, which include mobile commerce.

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