Mobile commerce – when we shop on our smartphones and tablets – now accounts for 34% of sales globally, and during 2014, shopping app usage grew faster than any other category of applications. It benefits retailers to plan strategies around mobile commerce, aka “m-commerce” now, as consumers are increasingly turning to their devices to complete transactions.
However, it isn’t all roses and butterflies for customers looking to shop on their mobile phones. I recently covered a Jumio and Harris Interactive study that reports 56% of mobile users have abandoned a transaction on their devices. Why? There are simply too many user experience hoops, such as sign-ups, shopping carts, and page loads, to jump through to complete a purchase easily and efficiently. Poor mobile experience design is a huge hurdle to overcome, and fickle customers will jump ship at the first sign of time-wasting obstacles.
San Francisco startup Stripe released a set of tools Monday aimed to make the m-commerce process smoother for customers looking to complete purchases within the app of origin. The API, labeled “Relay,” lets developers add payment functionality within the applications they develop, in turn allowing users to stay inside the app to buy rather than hopping to a mobile website or, worse, another channel to convert.
Take a look below at how Warby Parker has used Relay’s functionality within Twitter (one of Stripe’s initial partners) to more easily move customers along the purchase funnel within their tweets. This functionality displays and works seamlessly when users use Twitter’s native app to browse Warby Parker tweets on their smartphones.
According to Stripe, mobile devices account for 60% of browsing traffic for shopping sites but only 15% of purchases. Their hope is that relay will help increase conversions by reducing friction in the mobile customer purchase process. Some companies, including Levi’s, Oakley, and Ted Baker, are even linking Relay to their existing e-commerce systems to create better mobile experiences.
Relay offers another, perhaps unintended, benefit to brands that are developing mobile strategies, though. That benefit lies in mobile attribution.
Proving the value of mobile and securing related resources from the c-suite has long been a challenge for marketing, e-commerce, digital, and IT strategists. My research on mobile customer experience design and digital transformation has uncovered how difficult it can be for internal change agents to make the case for mobile investment when little support is received from digital leaders. Can’t show me the ROI? Can’t provide you with funding for your program.
Tools like Relay could have a significant impact in helping mobile strategists prove the impact of mobile programs that are in their infancy, positioning them to receive the support needed to grow into larger, enterprise-wide digital transformation efforts that focus on improving all aspects of the digital customer experience. Before, customers would often begin their purchase process within a retailer’s app, but convert elsewhere, making it difficult to justify or prove mobile’s crucial role in the customer journey.
Now, with in-app payment being made simpler, that direct commerce attribution from mobile is easier to prove to executives who require results. It’s a win-win-win for developers, consumers, and marketers alike.