Monday, 9 January 2012, 23:26
At the risk of being regarded as drab (since I persist in writing about mobile payments) I want to tell you about a neat example of how to simplify the payment process by means of a decent old credit card. The example in my mind is Groupon. By a simple solution they have managed to make it easier and quicker for the customer to complete the purchase.
You are offered to buy a gift voucher of SEK 100, 250, or 500.
As a first time customer you’re asked to fill in the form above, which isn’t unique at all, it’s rather common in an on-line shop.
Two things that I appreciate here: There’s a connect button for Facebook and if you’ve made a buy here before your card data is saved. Easy for the customer – and good-looking too.
This is what happens when I click on Facebook Connect:
Thus I’ve identified myself and my card data is shown automatically. What I have to do is merely to click on the button ”Send my order” to complete my purchase. Groupon doesn’t ask me to identify myself through 3d Secure, which makes it so much easier.
Of course you can compare it with Amazon’s Checkout or something similar, but I feel that Groupon has done a good thing when they don’t demand a log in or a password or whatever.
If you would like to create a similar payment process I can recommend that you turn to a Dutch company called Adyen, who offers this type of solution.
Monday, 14 November 2011, 21:51
Design and security are often connected and web shops with an attractive design often give the customers a serious impression. Amazon, e-retailer of the e-retailers, evidently don’t lack trust from their customers with their turnover of US$ 34,204 billion. The site isn’t that good-looking though, but I don’t shop at Amazon because of the design or the shopping experience – but because of the supply. The same goes for Adlibris really, they’re amazingly clever, they’ve a good supply, awesome customer services, and they make most things very correct – but their design isn’t extraordinary in any way.
What am I aiming at? Well, I do believe that design is extremely important to an e-retailer who hasn’t a name with the consumers yet. The same goes for companies selling exclusive clothing, for instance, where the shopping experience and the forming of a name is important.
I visited Ikea last weekend and used their touch screen to find a product. I was really impressed to see the simplicity and the usability of their system. Maybe not so aesthetic though, but the question I pondered over is whether it would be possible to build a web shop in the same way.
If your target group is consumers less used to the Internet I don’t think it would be so wrong to build a web shop according to Ikea’s pattern.
There are quite a few similarities between good mobile applications and Ikea’s solution. If you’re considering to build an e-retailer’s app I recommend a visit to Ikea!
Of course I don’t know how many hours they’ve put into this, but my guess is that they are many… Why is it so difficult to make things simple, by the way?
Wednesday, 9 November 2011, 15:45
The first credit card was invented by the American Frank McNamara as early as in 1950. He founded the company Diners Club after he forgot his wallet and couldn’t pay his lunch at a restaurant. He signed his business card and asked the waiter to send him the invoice and – voilà – there it was: the idea of the first credit card. In the seventies the card became more frequent as the cash dispensers became more common.
Today we pay with our credit cards as never before, but although the credit card has a strong position cash is still used a lot. It takes time to change the consumers’ behavior even though it is quicker than 40 years ago.
Why was the credit card such a hit? The obvious reason is that there is a customer benefit connected to it and because it’s easier to use than to have a pocket full of money.
To make mobile payment as popular as the credit card there must be a customer benefit associated to it. I don’t think we have reached that point just yet and definitely not regarding online payments. I’m convinced though that mobile payment will be a part of tomorrow’s payments.
Webhallen recently introduced payments via Payair. This is how it works:
Payair, who is behind this solution, ha been nominated to Guldmobilen 2011. But will they succeed? To be able to pay with Payair you have to register and download their application. The spur to do this is fairly weak, since there are few retailers (offline and online) that allow their customers to pay with Payair. I can see the customer benefit in the simplicity of the buying process, but at the same time I think it’ll be very difficult for Payair to succeed. The revenue per transaction is low and the acquisition cost for the consumer is probably pretty high.
When it comes to mobile payments in general I think it’ll take around 2-4 years before we can see something happening. According to my opinion the development probably won’t be explosive, rather like a ”dogtrot”.
Anyhow, it will be exciting to follow the development and in what way the consumers’ behavior will be influenced and changed.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011, 16:43
How many customer clubs are there room for? Personally I’m a member of about ten of them, but like many others I only use a few.
Klarna has recently performed an investigation of how the consumers use their member’s cards. Number one is – not surprisingly – ICA and then other companies selling every day products.
When retail companies fight for more members for their clubs to be able to work with CRM, then the e-retailers have unique possibilities. E-retailers have possibilities to work with CRM towards their customers, since the e-mail addresses can be used as a ”club card”. I think that retail- and ecommerce people have a lot to learn from one another regarding this and I think of the discussions at the eMeet 2010 where CRM was vividly discussed.There will be many more discussions about this, surely.
Stadium work very smartly with their loyalty card. The fact that they have a place on the list above confirms this statement.
Now then, what is it that Stadium does so well?
- A simple registration process
- It’s a service that’s simple to use since you only need your personal number. (You don’t need Stadium’s plastic card.)
- Relevant and good offers
An amusing example of a less relevant offer: a bra to a reduced price! I don’t belong to the correct target group.
To obtain customers to a reasonable cost is increasingly important in an increasingly keen competition. That e-commerce isn’t very profitable is not a new statement, but I’m convinced that the key of obtaining more customers to a low cost in the future will require a strong presence within ecommerce, mobile ecmmerce etc (generally speaking).
Today not less than 19% of the consumers read their newsletters in their iPhones. The mobile phones will be even more important in the process of connecting offline and online processes.
Friday, 14 October 2011, 22:44
Emeet was held last month and I had the privilege of participating and exchanging experiences about e-commerce. There were some very interesting discussions and I focused on questions connected to profitable e-commerce. What are we supposed to measure, why, and what will we make of it? Generally speaking I believe in measure few things with quality, rather than many without quality.
I don’t know if I can say that I’m a lot wiser after this net working that I did, but what is clear to me is that this isn’t an easy thing – especially not for small e-retailers.
That e-commerce has some trouble with being profitable is not a piece of news, and it’s also quite natural since we’re in an early stage of the development. But after all, you do have a company in order to make money and of course e-commerce is no exception. I believe that it’s important that these questions are brought up though, much more than they are at present. Most e-commerce events I attend are focused on the newest trends like mobile e-commerce and cool functions. Well, sure they are important areas, but what do they give you back? Why do we speak so little and so quiet about the core of having a business –
making a profit?
If you have the possibility of ”buying” a market by means of venture capital (or your own capital), sure it might be the right thing to do, but in such a case it’s more a question of strategy.
I will certainly work for getting this on the agenda of NES12. So we’ll see if I manage to convince the people of the Nordic eCommerce Knowledge!