Frictionless Mobile Commerce vs. Secure Mobile Commerce
I just read an article about the top 5 companies that are leading “frictionless mobile commerce”. I really liked that idea of frictionless mobile commerce, but after reading the article something struck a nerve with me. The author states “Any time you make your customer take out their credit card, they have to think about how much money they are spending. That works against frictionless commerce.” Here are my issues with this statement:
- Every one of these companies had to get past the initial “friction” of getting payment information from a customer – they just store it. I don’t know about you, but storing my CC still gives me bad vibes (think back to Target, Sony and Adobe for recent examples).
- A credit card is more likely to get stolen from a data breach downloading a major list of credit numbers, not during a live transaction that is taking place on your mobile device. I’m sure this happens some, but you are much more likely to have your CC info stolen from a company’s database than off your phone or tablet.
So, the most important questions you have to ask are: 1) what is the consumer’s preference and perception of saving CC data / entering it each time AND 2) what is truly the safest way for mobile consumers to shop?
Further, we believe downloadable apps are completely inappropriate for online retailers, not because of UX or tech issues (HTML 5 has eliminated the vast majority of tech issues that used to be only available in an app), but because of consumer risk and apathy. There is simply no reason for anybody to download and store a single store app on their phone. Mobile users just do not use these enough…it’s not like your bank, or a news app, or major internet portals (that we use all the time). So, as a result of the limited use and unnecessary nature of native mobile apps, the cost of customer acquisition (the cost incurred to convince someone to download) is exorbitant.
Needless to say, we are obviously proponents of mobile shopping within browsers with stores that do not store credit card information. It’s the safest way for your shoppers’ security and the easiest way to mobile sales.