Removing the friction from purchases online

We’ve previously discussed the mass exodus from print to online; the digital age is upon us, and that isn’t changing.

What we are noticing however is a large shift in the way we tackle e-commerce.

Maybe consumers are becoming lazier, or perhaps it’s a pre-emptive move from savvy tech heads, either way the latest word on the digital block is the need for frictionless transaction processes. Basically, this means bringing the transaction point to the medium in which the consumer is engaging with.

Lets put this into context.

Say you wish to purchase a pair of shoes after seeing a Twitter post about them?

What are the barriers to purchase? Well, the obvious one is money – but lets remove that barrier, because in this fantasy we’re the sole inheritors of Steve Jobs fortune. So you have the cash, but perhaps you can’t be bothered going out to the store to buy said shoes, or maybe you saw the post late at night and the store is closed?

So online it is then? Urgh – finding the website, signing up, finding the product, finding your size, adding it to a cart, entering your payment details, shipping details… and now a fairly large percentage of potential customers have given up with their purchase and turned to watching TV. Great.

Reality has it, that the transaction point is not merely a website away and when we consider traditional marketing methods, it’s light-years away. But what if you could have bought those shoes directly from Twitter when you first saw the post?

A recent article by Albert Wegner delves in to the concept of native transactions, meaning technologies that don’t require a separate app download to complete a transaction.

“The primary reason behind the need to disrupt and really move you elsewhere is that most web services have not yet found or deployed their native way of making money, which is largely due to the inability to transact within the services themselves.”

Which raises the question: What if you could purchase when your purchase intent was at its highest via a single click payment mechanism?

Oh, the Pandora’s box this opens.

Facebook has just announced a series of changes to its payment systems and virtual currency, which we will be discussing in our next post. Lets see how deep this rabbit hole goes.

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