In the last few years, retailers all over the world have been experiencing major increases in their mobile commerce sales.
However, despite these positive figures, m-commerce is being hindered by the inherent limitations of mobile devices.
Lengthy and complicated checkout processes make m-commerce less user friendly and result in customers abandoning their baskets. In 2013 alone, card abandonment resulted in over £6bn in lost revenue for UK retailers.
Consumers now want to purchase goods and services in the most convenient way possible, especially in regards to the payment process.
For instance, fashion retailer New Look has streamlined its online checkout process to make it easier for customers to pay for their products.
Jack Smith, New Look’s group digital director, believes that paying for products online is a “pain point” and should be made as easy as possible; otherwise retailers could miss out:
You’re asking customers to do something they don’t want to do, and you’re making it really arduous for them at the same time.
To remedy this, New Look reduced its mobile checkout process down to two pages and found that conversion rates soared as a result.
The current mobile shopping experience is a difficult and painful one which is putting customers off.
If retailers want to keep these customers buying on their mobiles, then they need to improve their payment processes.
This isn’t an easy task but here are four key steps that retailers need to follow to make their processes easier and to stay ahead of the competition in 2016.
1. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes
Online retailers that tailor their process to the way their customers want to buy online are likely to see greater conversion rates.
Traders who study analytics and carry out consumer research are able to find more information about customer’s online shopping habits and are able to adapt their strategy to suit them.
Retailing giant M&S did exactly that when redesigning its website ahead of the 2014 launch of its own platform; it found that customers would often put products in their shopping basket whilst shopping on their mobile devices, but switch over to their desktop computers to complete the purchase.
For M&S this demonstrated the importance of having a shopping basket that was available across all sales channels.
2. Go mobile
Customers are no longer merely browsing via their mobile devices but many are also buying goods with them.
In 2015, nearly half of all online sales were completed using mobile devices. Making this process easier and smoother for customers will inevitably result in greater sales for retailers.
A big issue for customers is having to enter their card details through their mobile phones every time they purchase. Retailers have been able to overcome this by offering ‘one-click’ payments, mobile friendly payment methods such as PayPal and adopting new and innovative technologies such as Apple Pay.
Retailers that take advantage of new technological advancements, such as tokenisation, encryption and layered authentication, can ensure the security of their customer’s data whilst offering easier mobile payment methods.
3.Be flexible with your marketplace
It’s paramount that retailers who are moving into new territories consider the local currencies and payment methods.
Consumers from around the world have different payment habits and it’s important that new retailers tailor their services so that they can accept these payments.
Retailers should thoroughly research these payment methods during their market research, whether that’s iDeal, used by 60% of Dutch online shoppers, or bank transfer, popular in Germany and the Nordic countries.
4.Maintain high security standards
It is critical that retailers ensure the safety and security of the customer’s payment data when they are making online purchases.
This not only protects the retailer’s reputation and gives consumers peace of mind when buying on their online and mobile platform, but also reduces the likelihood of chargebacks.
Retailers need to consider their own security by planning and implementing robust fraud strategies. They should take advantage of new technological advancements such as tokenisation, which underpins one-click payments and means retailers can avoid having to store their customer’s payment information online.
Nonetheless, the onus is still on the trader to ensure their payment processing meets the requirements of the PCI Security Standards Council.
By following these four key steps retailers are well on the way to ensuring their payments are easy, secure and convenient for shoppers.
The latest trends in payment strategy and technologies will be discussed this year in April on the show floor, and at the dedicated digital payments theatre at Internet Retailing Expo in Birmingham. Find out more and register for free at www.internetretailingexpo.com
Ian Jindal is an experienced multichannel retailer and Editor-in-Chief of InternetRetailing
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