Whether you already have an e-commerce app or are thinking of developing one, you should always be striving to reduce the “friction” (the industry term for hassle) at that crucial moment of purchase. Think of all the times you’ve abandoned an online purchase at the last minute simply because you didn’t have the energy to fill in the maze of required fields at checkout.
Venmo Touch, a new app-specific product from mobile payment company Braintree, was created to address that very issue. As a merchant, when you incorporate the Venmo Touch point-of-sale component into an app, you offer users a single-touch checkout option (after they key in their full information once). You also join a network of businesses that use the system for checkout. Which means that whether your customers are shopping your store or another in the Venmo Touch network, they can check out in seconds.
A screenshot of the Venmo Touch point-of-sale system (courtesy of Braintree)
Currently, the payment system’s stable of apps is small but buzz-y in that up-and-coming Silicon Valley way: Car service Uber, trendy home-rental site Airbnb, and Living Social are all in the Venmo Touch network.
Michael Boeke, product manager for Braintree, recently spoke about the point-of-sale system at PSFK’s Future of Retail conference in San Francisco. He opened his presentation with: “The startling truth is, mobile is eating the world. It’s becoming everything.”
A few highlights from his lecture:
- Fifty-five percent of online shopping currently occurs on a mobile device. “It’s a trend that’s only going to accelerate.”
- There are two main challenges to selling on a mobile device: Merchandising (“how to show wares on a tiny screen”) and “how do you get customers through data entry for checkout.”
- You can’t simply transfer the design of your website to mobile—you need to create a mobile site or app. “Amazon has a crappy home screen,” notes Boeke, “but Fab.com has a great product screen interface—it’s noiseless.”
- The future of mobile retailing? “Location data and other things can be combined with purchasing data and history.”
- The big “mobile checkout challenge” for retailers revolves around the fact that consumers are riding on buses, walking, and driving when contemplating purchases. All that multitasking needs to be taken into account when designing an app and choosing a payment system, says Boeke.