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What does the rise of mobile really mean for global retailers

Monday 8 May 2017 | 09:06 AM CET

Roelant Prins, Adyen: In the future, we expect the checkout to disappear completely and customers will simply check out via a mobile app and leave with their purchase

Mobile is playing an ever-growing role in the customer journey. Globally, it accounts for 37% of online transactions, up from 30% in 2015. And it is on the rise in-store too, increasing by over 300% in the UK in the past year.

The ubiquity of the smartphone makes it a perfect vehicle for anytime, anywhere shopping. A shopper can move easily from one channel to another; browsing items online, trying them on in-store, reading reviews on social media and, finally, checking out with a mobile wallet.

Consequently, we are seeing an emergence of new shopper experiences. Take Grabble, for example, the ‘Tinder of Fashion’, or the birth of ‘conversational commerce’, where shoppers buy directly from inside a chat thread. Enabling this are players like China’s WeChat, whose payment functionality means shoppers can browse, chat, and buy, all within one ecosystem.

Mobile is evolving in-store, too. Today, it is wallets like Apple Pay but, in the future, we expect the checkout to disappear completely and customers will simply check out via a mobile app and leave with their purchase – Uber-style.

What does this look like region by region?

Globally, retailers are looking at a highly fragmented market; some regions are steaming ahead, while for others, growth is steadier.

1. US: The rise of the mobile wallet

Mobile is gathering momentum in the US, now accounting for 33% of all online payments. This is largely down to millennials, 91% of whom have made a purchase on their smartphone. And, with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay in the market, the number of shoppers with payment functionality built into their phones is approaching the tipping point. Interestingly, while Android has the greater market share, we see that iPhone users are leading mobile payments, so retailers should consider targeting them first.

2. Asia: Where local payment methods hold the key

In Asia, the online mobile share is 39%. This is partly driven by the number of shoppers going online mobile-first, and partly by the fact that Asia is a hotbed of mobile innovation. Alipay is leading the way with a mobile share of 56%, but WeChat, with its 400 million user-base, will likely push the needle still further. Both are expanding quickly, and many of our retailers are integrating these methods in order to serve Chinese shoppers both home and abroad.

3. Brazil: The huge growth opportunity

Online mobile shopping is accelerating fast, climbing from 10% to 18.8% in the past 12 months, and peaking in December 2015 at 35%. And, for large online retailers like Netshoes, mobile is a key driver of revenue: “Having a mobile strategy has become crucial for retail companies. Mobile represents more than 50% of the traffic to our website and 30% of conversion. This is why investing in innovation in payment technology is fundamental.” Leonardo Dib, CFO, Netshoes.

In Brazil, retailers should be prepared to think laterally. An important payment method is the cash-based method Boleto Bancário, which accounts for 15% of online payments, and does not have an obvious mobile flow. However, there is a solution: shoppers can scan the QR code and pay with a banking app. Retailers must ensure they integrate mobile payments in a way that accommodates local methods, and makes sense to shoppers.

4. Europe: a diverse yet mobile-savvy market

With an online mobile share of 55%, the UK is the undisputed leader. Apple Pay and Android Pay are catching on fast, and retailers must offer a mobile-optimised flow in order to remain competitive.

Increasingly, local payment methods across Western Europe are being optimised for mobile devices. In Germany, local method Giropay has a mobile share of 26% while, in the Netherlands, iDEAL leads with 42%. Furthermore, Sofort, which is used across Western Europe, has a mobile share of 35%. Retailers are therefore driving conversion rates by supporting these local methods for mobile.

So, what is the next step for retailers?

Retailers have the potential to integrate themselves into the lives of their shoppers as never before – but they must act fast. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, the following applies to all regions:

• Minimise number of steps to purchase

It is vital to keep the process simple. This can be achieved by enabling one-click payments, thereby eliminating the need to re-enter long card details, which can be a real conversion killer. We strongly recommend supporting one-click, or even zeroclick, payments for mobile transactions. In-store retailers can streamline the experience by supporting mobile wallets.

• Focus on end-to-end conversion

This means removing every possible barrier to pay. Factors such as the choice of payment methods can have a huge impact, and technology now exists to dynamically offer a targeted list of methods based on shopper location or device-type. Further, if the shopper is redirected to an external site to complete a purchase, the transition must be invisible.

Keeping abreast of rapidly emerging trends can be a daunting task for retailers. But, with the right partners, and the latest technology, retailers can deliver a range of customer journeys that keep shoppers around the world coming back for more.

About Roelant Prins

Roelant is responsible for commercial activities at Adyen. After starting his career as a consultant, he moved on to the online payments industry in early 2000. Throughout the years, Roelant has held various international management roles in sales and business development for companies providing payment solutions to international ecommerce businesses.

 

About Adyen

Adyen payments technology powers global commerce for the world’s fastest growing companies. Its unique solution drives conversions by supporting a broad range of shopper journeys online, on mobile, and in-store. And its modern infrastructure optimises the payments process by connecting businesses directly to all major card schemes and local payment methods. All of this is managed in a single, purpose-built platform, which is trusted by global brands such as Facebook, Uber, Netflix, Mango, O’Neill and Superdry.

This article is part of the exclusive Online Payments and Ecommerce Market Guide 2016, an educational overview of the global payments industry. For more insights into the latest trends in ecommerce and e-payment methods developments please download a free copy here.

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