My brows furrow while I fill in the 10 rows of payments field on my smartphone to buy the perfect pair of cycling gloves. In 2012, Javelin research showed that over $20 billion was purchased by U.S. consumers using their mobile devices, with the vast majority happening online through mobile browsers and apps vs. in a store. I am doing my best to increase that total, but I am finding that I need to be very patient to complete a purchase with my iPhone. Each time I hit enter I cross my fingers; “please let me get this gift, please just take my money.” And each time my head sinks, a letter is missing or a number switched, and the process begins again. Finally, the moment arrives: “please review your order!” And so I do: $30 for the gloves, and $8 for shipping. Wait, $8 for shipping? Dragging my digital feet, I trudge off the site searching for a shipping coupon online. But finally, frustrated, I come back and see that my information has disappeared and I have to start all over. I hadn’t even gotten to typing in the shipping address yet. The entire checkout experience doesn’t leave me feeling very good.
One-click ordering removes the single biggest stumbling block for completing a mobile purchase, namely the checkout process. Forward thinking companies like Braintree, Google Wallet, Payfone and Verizon are working to make sure one single touch is all a consumer needs to finish that checkout on a mobile device. One-click is one big step on the road to the Holy Grail: widespread consumer mobile –and online- purchasing. Instead of having to fill out that long credit or debit card number, our mobile phone can store our info and with one-click, buy and mail that glove. Sign me up. What’s the size of the opportunity? Total purchases at the point of sale are expected to grow by just 1% compounded annually. Online payments have a much higher expected growth rate of 7.6%. But mobile phone POS payments are projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 46.7%. Additionally, cash sales provide another opportunity to be converted to mobile payments because cash still accounts for almost $900 billion in annual POS purchases in the U.S. alone.
The rising adoption of mobile means we must change the way we deliver retail services to consumers. With smartphones in the hands of over half of the nation’s adults and with more than 3 in 10 owning tablets, mobile has become the dominant form of communication in the U.S.. Retailers that want to fully capitalize on this trend need to focus on making the entire buying process easy for consumers. Typing in a long credit card number and delivery address on a mobile phone is likely to be filled with fat-finger fumbles. One click technology itself is filled with complexity, requiring strong security for the storage of cardholder data on one hand - and easy set up and access for merchants on the other. But done correctly, one-click promotes mobile and online shopping with ease. Join me at Money2020 on October 9, 2013.