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Expert opinion

The future of our UX expectations

Friday 2 February 2018 | 09:17 AM CET

Rik van ’t Hof from Ingenico Group shares insights into consumer expectations and user experience in the context of ecommerce personalisation 

This editorial was first published in our Online Payments and Ecommerce Market Guide launched on 1 November 2017. The guide features several important thought leadership editorials from ecommerce and payments industry professionals, which makes it a top-reference source for anyone involved in the payments ecosystem.

How often do you let other people use your phone? Or your tablet?

In the past (but not that long ago), my family used to have a single computer that we all shared. My wife, kids and I used it for everything: doing homework, watching videos, catching up on work, etc. Then we each got our own laptops and cell phones and quickly afterwards our cell phones became smart phones, tablets, and other mobiles. Nowadays, we all have our own devices and it’s rare that my family members use my laptop or phone and vice versa. Our devices aren’t communal anymore – they are personal – and for many of us working in the online space, and especially in user experience, this is a game-changer.

Ecommerce is getting personal

Roughly 60% of the global population now use smartphones, a percentage which rises up to roughly 80% in some of the tech-heavy countries around the world. Technology is getting more personal and by extension, so is ecommerce.

Consumers are shopping and interacting with money in ways that never existed before. When this is combined with digital personalization, digital tracking technology and advances in financial technology, powerful opportunities arise for both businesses and consumers who want to connect in new ways. That’s not too far ahead in the future, thanks to some technological advancements:

  • Personalisation – new technologies and the increased usage of what we’ve got have led to a world where mobile devices can be seen as an extension of the individual. Biometrics, such as thumbprints, iris scanning and even Apple’s enhanced facial recognition, all offer authentication possibilities that make purchasing much quicker and easier.

  • Digital marketing and tracking technologies – companies can now gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ preferences to build stronger relationships. The purpose here is not to become “big brother” conglomerates, but to become a better partner by pinpointing what people actually want and develop more personalized offers, incentives and loyalty programmes.

  • Social apps and social commerce – social apps have led to dramatically increased usage on mobile devices, especially for millennials. This opens up new channels for brands to engage with their customers via social commerce, allowing new opportunities for personalized purchases and interactions.

Consumer expectations keep evolving

Shopping, whether online or in-store, is evolving and people are no longer limited to a single touchpoint for the entire journey. Consumers are now using a combination of devices in their path to purchase, even when they make the final purchase in a physical store. In fact, a study done prior to last year’s December holiday season showed that nearly 100% of millennial shoppers checked prices or compared merchandise on their smartphones before making in-store purchases. This is also happening more in reverse: people are looking at items in-store and then purchasing online. The bottom line is that brands need to be anywhere and everywhere their customers are and facilitate easy journeys across all touchpoints.

Nothing happens without trust

Retailers can get to know their customers and create personalised purchasing journeys but none of this is possible without a strong sense of trust between the customer and the company.

How would you feel about getting messages with details of your recent online purchases from a company you don’t know, trying to convince you to buy their products? Most people would call that spam, or worse, an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, personalized messages that come from trusted companies are often welcomed and those brands enjoy increased customer advocacy.

Establishing trust, especially when using location-based marketing and social commerce, is critical. The same goes for online payments, where it is even more important. People need to feel secure and confident that their personal boundaries won’t be crossed or their personal information misused. Companies that create safe and trustworthy environments when asking for an online payment are much more likely to convert the sale than companies that don’t.

Connect to future UX expectations

With so much opportunity to personalize the UX, use more sophisticated authentication methods, and create deeper relationships with customers, it’s surprising that so many online shopping carts are still regularly abandoned and account for such huge losses. Mobile conversion, in general, is low. As prevalent as mobile devices are, many online shoppers don’t complete their transactions, often because they experience friction or hesitation and decide to abandon their journey. But every challenge creates a world of opportunity for forward-thinking brands.

The trend towards mobile shopping is strong. The more customers use mobile devices to make purchases, the more comfortable they become placing larger orders and the more likely they are to become repeat customers. Additionally, orders made with one or more mobile devices have shorter time-to-next-order than PC-only orders.

Although abandoned carts are still fairly common, potentially 60% of those lost mobile sales globally could be recovered by merchants who make it easier for customers at the checkout stage. This includes offering local payment methods and currencies, being transparent about shipping costs and delivery times and even including personalized messages and offers to recognized customers (Connect to Future UX Expectations, Ingenico ePayments).

Offering a smooth and engaging UX journey across all touchpoints – existing ones and future ones – is a powerful opportunity for businesses who want to connect with their customers’ expectations.

About Rik van ‘t Hof

With over 15 years of experience in the FinTech industry, Rik van 't Hof has extensive knowledge on payments, eCommerce technology and customer journeys around the world. In his current role within the Ingenico Retail Business Unit, Rik is both Director of Front-End Product Management and the Tribe Lead on User Experience and Technology. Rik has worked for Ingenico and its predecessor, GlobalCollect since 2004, helping to truly shape the company’s product and services portfolio.

About Ingenico Group

Ingenico Group (Euronext: FR0000125346 - ING) is the global leader in seamless payment, providing smart, trusted and secure solutions to empower commerce across all channels, in-store, online and mobile. With the world’s largest payment acceptance network, we deliver secure payment solutions with a local, national and international scope. We are the trusted world-class partner for financial institutions and retailers, from small merchants to several of the world’s best known global brands.

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