Mobile Shopping / Uncategorized

Mobile Payments Enable New & Engaging Experiences

By the end of 2015, mobile commerce had already brought in $720 billion worldwide for the year.. A surprising figure for an industry that didn’t exist ten years ago. As it quickly grows to fill a large portion of the ecommerce market, it disrupts the way consumers are influenced to buy. Users are connected 24/7, so mobile payments are a natural extension, creating new opportunities for marketers. As cash transactions become less popular, the value to consumers isn’t in the payment; it’s in the convenience.

This year, financial institutions in Australia are easing into mobile payments, with the introduction of Square, the partnership between Apple & ANZ Bank, and Samsung Pay. But these improvements in mobile payment options come as no surprise as Australians begin to go cashless, with the use of cash falling sharply since online shopping and ‘tap & go’ technology became popular. For retailers who know their demographics, mobile payment options provide tailored experiences that enrich the buying process and foster brand loyalty.


Better Use of Data

Brands who think mobile-first are using data to better understand their customers and improve the experience of mobile payments. And while demographics can play an important part, it’s social media and mobile usage behavior that brands should scrutinize. A Millward Brown study found 87% of users say they chose to buy products based on what they’d seen on social media. Other research also found a positive response to features like ‘always on’ customer support, ease of use, and providing quality transactional experiences. Brands can learn a lot by observing their customers’ social data, in-app shopping behaviors, and how they choose to interact with customer service. Smaller businesses that fail to explore a mobile strategy will fall by the wayside, but large brands who pay little attention to the mobile shopping experience should expect to suffer too. Customers expect premium mobile shopping options that lend to the user experience, and companies who use customer data to tailor the experience can foster strong customer loyalty.


Make Mobile Payments Easy

Companies can easily leverage mobile payment options regardless of their size, and since these options are a crucial component to the mobile experience, they should place a strong emphasis on accepting more choices.  Vaughan Rowsell, founder of NZ-based mobile POS company, believes mobile payment options haven’t caught up due to how easy cards still are to use.

“The real disruption in the mobile payment pace is going to come when you are bundling up the whole payment experience with some other value-add to create an experience that benefits the customer,” Rowsell says. “Because paying is pretty easy. The real opportunity is how you enable retailers to create new and engaging experience around the payment.”

Brands need to think creatively to make their mobile payment experience compelling. A simple, secure shopping experience, an intuitive interface, or simply a dependable method to do away with carrying around loyalty cards can be enough to win customer loyalty. In addition, brands that adopt more in-store payment strategies will foster online sales as well, while companies that provide an easy online shopping option will see a higher rate of repeat business, compared to stores who have yet to invest in smoother mobile transactions.


Focus on Point of Sale

Using newer mobile devices at the point-of-sale allows brands to maintain customer profiles, view products customers have previously purchased, and assign them to a customer loyalty program. Mobile payments can change how customers shop in retail stores, but this can require a significant technological leap. ANZ Bank is attempting to kill queues by offering a payment system that allows staff to accept mobile payments when they’re away from the register. By doing so, they improve the customer’s in store experience by utilising a device consumers are comfortable with, thus saving them time and encouraging them to interact via mobile.

Samsung Pay just rolled out their contactless payments system in Australia to compete with Android & Apple Pay, offering mobile payment options that replace cards, combining everything from customer loyalty, transportation, and credit cards, freeing up users of carrying each card around. By replacing these cards with a mobile payments system, customers reap the benefits of never worrying about forgetting to bring a card along that they may need. In Singapore, Android Pay offers locals their own contactless mobile payment option, making the country third in the world to use Android’s service. Due to it’s high level of mobile penetration and speedy internet, Singapore was the perfect hotspot for competition between emerging mobile payment options, which sends these brands into deep competition for who provides the best experience.


Improve the Consumer Experience

Emerging mobile technology provides brands with opportunities to make their mobile transactions unique, therefore engaging in ways that increase usage and ROI. Recently, the NAB added a new feature to their mobile payments system called ‘NAB Pay,’ where you can still use your visa card within minutes of losing it. The NAB used their data to find a particular pain point for users to be waiting for replacement cards if theirs was lost or stolen. This opportunity interfaced with their mobile payments system so their customers don’t have to wait for a replacement card. An E-Marketer APAC mobile usage study found the top two reasons consumers shop using mobile devices were convenience and the ability to shop ‘on the go.’

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Other ways to improve mobile shopping experiences have less in common with emerging mobile technology and more with basic good mobile design. Removing drop down menus, or the need to zoom or scroll can have just as much impact as guaranteed secure checkout and multiple convenient payment options. By simplifying mobile payments and targeting local shoppers, brands can easily create positive experiences with mobile payments, and encourage local customers to do repeat business at in-store locations.
Australia is one of ten countries to show strong year-on-year eCommerce growth. For the first time ever, people are searching more on their mobile devices than on desktops, and even more so in dedicated apps than on the mobile web. These trends suggest traditional online stores and non-mobile friendly websites just won’t meet consumers’ rising expectations. With connectivity being such a large issue for mobile shoppers, brands that  make better use of data, place emphasis on improving mobile payment options, and concentrate on creating superior mobile experiences will come out on top.  

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