March 23, 2012, 12:13 PM

Building or buying m-commerce technology can be a tough choice

At IRCE, a executive will explain his decision to buy.

Lead Photo's mobile site

Throughout most areas of e-commerce, retailers must choose between buying technology from a vendor or building systems in-house. This choice is particularly important in mobile commerce—the technology is new and fast-evolving, and the skills required to build sites and apps can quickly change.

Chris Herzog, vice president of e-commerce development at Computer Geeks, also known as, will speak on the subject of buying versus building at the 2012 Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition June 5-8 in Chicago during a session at 2:45 p.m. on June 8 titled “A head-to-head match-up: In-house versus vendor.”, opted to go with a vendor, mShopper, when it launched its m-commerce site in 2010. It wanted the expertise of a team of professionals steeped in m-commerce. But the decision to buy or build is unique to each company, Herzog says. is No. 189 in the Internet Retailer Mobile Commerce Top 300.

“It’s important to understand that both approaches have advantages and disadvantages,” Herzog says. “Making the right choice depends on understanding your business, your available resources and what you’re trying to accomplish. The goals and requirements of a mid-level, online-only retailer such as are much different than those for a content publisher, a multichannel retailer, or a company for whom a mobile presence is merely a part of a larger branding strategy.”

“I’ll point out the specific considerations and factors that ultimately made outsourcing mobile the right decision for, but also some of the challenges with which we’ve had to contend,” he says. “There is no ‘perfect solution,’ only the ‘most perfect’ solution for your business.”

Internet Retailer’s editors asked Herzog to speak because he spearheaded the launch of’s mobile commerce initiative. He has been with the e-retailer since the company’s inception in 1996. During this time he launched’s affiliate program, implemented numerous enterprise-level e-commerce initiatives and has overseen the company’s promotional e-mails.

The IRCE $200 early-bird discount expires March 31.


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