Category Archives: mobilepayments

#mcommerce- how to use QR codes effectively to connect online with offline

Online and offline are merging. We engage with prospects and customers in different ways during the lifecycle of their relationship with a brand: in the search and prospect phase, at the point of purchase (or initial conversion) or during the after-sales and support cycle.

One way to easily get to grips with the different ways you can interact with audience is to break down the user journey.

For the initial stages, the get in touch and get engaged phases, you need to have a strategy in place to get visitors back to your site to re-engage with them, especially if the initial contact was in an offline situation.

There are many ways of doing this but a good strategy is to become pragmatic and ensure you can run a campaign that takes hours to implement, instead of days.

Enter the QR code

QR codes are becoming very popular, even though they might still need further development to generate the results marketers expect.

There are a few that argue there isn’t a role for QR codes in engaging potential customers,but until other means of technology are established I think the use of QR codes in driving visitors to your website is one that has real benefit in linking offline and online.

As they are easy to generate, there has been a proliferation of QR codes everywhere, but not all of them are as effective as others. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind to ensure effective ROI when using QR codes:

1. Think surrounding

Take the physical surrounding into consideration when you plan your campaign offering. What do you know about the setting the person will be in? Where are they and what will they be doing?

Using a QR code on a billboard on a busy high street may be a good idea but placing it in an elevator with bad Wi-Fi or 3G connections will not work. Think about the external environment that your target audiences are in and whether taking out their phones and scanning a code is physically possible or convenient for them.

Avoid mistakes like this. This banner placed above the entrance to Manchester town hall cannot be scanned without a ladder..

2. Think mobility

You know that they are going to access your content from a mobile device. Make sure that your content and process is mobile enabled, and that it is easy to move along the conversion funnel to avoid drop offs.

Navigation and user experience is important. Our research last year showed that 35% of consumers think mobile sites are often missing important functionality.

You do not want to run a campaign that is geared to the mobile and then the content is limited in the mobile channel, especially if you are using QR codes for mobile commerce.

3. Think personalisation

Personalise the content for each unique visitor. Use the preferences of the visitor, where they are (geography) and the context, then share your offering based on that.

This is where it can become a lot more engaging for potential customers. For example, if you are using QR codes for an event, maybe you can adapt the offering based on when the person accesses the site and tie it with product or service offerings that are useful at that time of the day.

A great example is Turquoise Cottage, a popular night spot in New Delhi, India, which has cleverly used QR codes to promote drinks offers and a taxi service:

You have to help the visitor here, so knowing your target audience and how they want to interact is key to success. Personalising the landing page is a key element (which I have blogged about previously.

4. Think social

Can you use public social networks to run competitions and extend the user journey?

Check-in and location based services can add a lot to a campaign and the possibility to interact with the user over time. A word of caution here is to not make it dependent on having a login as that can limit the number of participants in the campaign.

One of the best examples that I have seen that ties together all of the above elements, is Tesco’s use of QR codes in South Korea. Get inspired!

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Introducing PayPal Here: The Future of Commerce for Small Business

Square to Triangle – check mate.

PayPal has a long history of helping small businesses. For 14 years we’ve provided the tools and services that have allowed millions of small businesses to grow by solving the complex and critical task of processing payments securely and easily in more than 190 countries. Helping small business owners get paid is in our DNA. That’s why I’m excited to unveil PayPal Here, a new payments solution that will help small businesses get paid – whether they do business online, offline or on mobile.

PayPal Here is the world’s first global mobile payment solution that allows small businesses to accept almost any form of payment. It’s designed to help those merchants make more sales and grow their business with confidence. And it gives them choices. They can accept payments by swiping cards with a fully encrypted thumb-sized card reader, or use a phone camera to scan and process cards and checks. It also allows them to invoice directly from the mobile app and, of course, accept PayPal in a brand new way.

So, you’re asking, how is this different from other small business mobile payment solutions? The key differentiator is that it comes from PayPal, a trusted brand in the online payments industry with more than 100 million customers around the globe and years of proven payment innovation, driving growth for millions of businesses globally. PayPal Here comes with our world-class fraud management capabilities, and our 24×7 live customer support. In addition to accepting more payment methods, PayPal Here offers a simple flat rate of 2.7% for card swipes and PayPal payments. Merchants are also given a business debit card for quick access to their funds and 1% cash back on eligible purchases – which means if you use the debit card, your fees are actually just 1.7%!

PayPal Here is just the latest addition to our comprehensive suite of payment solutions for small businesses – from PCI-compliant checkout options and invoicing, to debit cards and mobile-optimized checkout. With PayPal Here, we are now able to serve as a one-stop shop for online, offline and multi-channel small businesses.

We’re happy to be helping small businesses around the globe take the pain out of payments and let them focus on what they do best – running their business and growing their customer base.

PayPal Here is available today exclusively for select merchants in the United States, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong. It will open to all other merchants in those countries next month. And we’ll announce the availability of PayPal Here in more countries soon. Be sure to visit www.paypal.com/here to get the free app and card reader as soon as it’s widely available. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below!

–David Marcus, Vice President of Mobile, PayPal


Mastercard throws weight behind EU Green Paper on mobile payments

In response to the European Commission’s Green Paper on electronic payments, published today, Mastercard is the first major payment company to officially lend support to the campaign.

The goal of the paper is to expand electronic payments to help European businesses grow, and consumers to shop easily and safely online, instore and via their mobile devices.

Mastercard Europe president Javier Perez said that the company supports public dialogue on the critical role electronic payments play in commerce and society.

MasterCard is already working hard to encourage adoption of electronic payments. Greater use can help reduce the black economy, stimulate investment and improve efficiency, resulting in improved consumer and business confidence in tough times.”

MastrCard said that it thought a shift was underway as European consumers move from cash to more efficient forms of electronic payments. Payments online and via smartphones are also growing dramatically as consumers change the way they shop and pay.

The company’s own PayPass technology is being used across Europe more and more, while Visa, PayPal and Google are racing to make the biggest mark on the mobile payments space. No wonder, since technology analysis firm Yankee Group predicts the value of NFC transactions will grow from $27m in 2010 to $40bn in 2014.

Visa announced this week that its NFC payment system has now been certified for use in LG, Samsung and RIM smartphones, and back in November it confirmed that its digital wallet service will be called V.me.

Expected to be rolled out fully in early 2012, Visa is running a developer programme that brings together all of its current subsidiaries including Authorize.Net, CyberSource, Fundamo and PlaySpan. Its aim is to give retailers, merchants and start-ups better access to Visa’s payments services, since the tools provide mobile developers with easier ways to accept payments on handsets.

With PayPal’s own digital wallet service is expected to launch this year – as well as Google Wallet on the market – it’ll be interesting to see how products from the big three compare over the coming year.

On top of huge potential for growth, green and commerce benefits, Mastercard also highlighted that many of the cards already in use by European consumers help them set limits on how they spend, help them decide where they want to spend, and help them use whatever online or offline technologies they want to use to pay.

These opportunities for consumers to be in control of the way they pay were nearly unheard of when the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) initiative within the EU began. Europe was a pioneer in creating safe and convenient new ways to pay such as EMV chip cards.

Perez explained that these and many other innovations come from intense competition, and can only be supported with a sustainable business model.

The payments sector needs to have a sustainable business model to fund innovations that will keep Europe ahead of the rest of the world. We expect that the consultation process started today will reveal just how much the way to pay in daily life has changed for everyone.”


Shopkick mobile app draws traditional retailers

A trip to the mall? No thanks. They’re too loud and too costly. Better to stay home and shop online.

What’s that? You’ll pay me to go to the mall? Well, that’s another story. Indeed, it’s the business model behind Shopkick, one of the most interesting shopping apps around. Available for free for Apple Inc.’s iPhones or for phones running Google Inc.’s Android operating system, Shopkick is a different kind of shopping loyalty service. Lots of us carry a plastic loyalty card that earns extra discounts at a favorite supermarket. Shopkick uses smartphone technology to keep track of your visits to many different retailers. Through Shopkick, the store can offer you special discounts that flash on your smartphone screen. But Shopkick also tempts you with benefit points, called “kicks,’’ that you get just for visiting the store, even if you don’t spend a dime.

The idea is to retrain Internet-savvy shoppers to spend more time and money at brick-and-mortar stores. That’s a traditional retailer’s dream, which is why so many major companies have bought into the Shopkick system, including Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Sears, Home Depot, Stop & Shop, and lots more.

One of Shopkick’s coolest features is based on some delightfully geeky technology. Drop in at Best Buy with the Shopkick app running on your phone. Walk through the door and wait for a few seconds. With a happy little jingle, the phone informs you that you’ve gotten 60 kicks just for crossing the threshold.

GPS signals usually won’t penetrate buildings, so how does it know where you are? Shopkick has persuaded Best Buy and other merchants to install a network of small speakers that broadcast high-frequency sound, the kind that’s too high-pitched for human ears. I don’t know whether dogs can hear it, but the microphone in a smartphone can pick it up. The sound tells the Shopkick app that you’re inside the local Best Buy, and so you get your reward. You can collect kicks this way once a day, so Shopkick gives users a reason for return visits.

The app uses the same location technology to reward you for wandering the aisles. For example, if you walk to the Best Buy video game department, you get 20 kicks, and 20 more for strolling over to digital imaging. The ultrasonic system is precise enough to track you as you go.

I learned about Shopkick from a local tech executive who confidently told me that its ultrasonic location technology wouldn’t work. Actually, it does, though not perfectly. On one visit, a stroll to the imaging department produced no points. But overall, it’s surprisingly effective.

You can get more kicks with help from the phone’s camera. Just scan the bar codes of certain items. Sometimes getting rewards this way requires making a purchase. For instance, at the 16 Simon Malls in Massachusetts, such as the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, you can get 200 kicks by purchasing an American Express gift card, then scanning its bar code.

But many such offers cost nothing. For instance, at Best Buy I picked up 10 kicks just for scanning the bar code on a Hewlett-Packard Co. inkjet printer; at Target, I got a bunch more by scanning the new Lego Pirates of the Caribbean video game. Such offers are designed to turn shopping into a sort of treasure hunt, where you enter stores you might otherwise never visit, and check out items you didn’t think you’d want.

Again, the technology can stumble; Shopkick requires a decent cellphone signal, and that can sometimes be a problem in malls. The Target at South Shore Plaza is in the basement; after scanning an item, I had to run to the front door to collect kicks.

Collect enough kicks, and you can turn them in for a variety of goodies. I’m still trying to get up to 400; that will entitle me to a $25 gift certificate from Restaurant.com. Other offers include gift cards from various retailers, movie tickets, or my favorite: a round-the-world cruise for a mere 6,250,000 kicks.

Shopkick’s not quite tempting enough to turn me into a mall rat. But I could see firing it up during my routine visits to Stop & Shop, where I picked up a few kicks just by scanning a package of string cheese. And if you’re already a habitual shopper, now you can get paid for it.

Source: http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2011/06/30/shopkick_app_draws_traditional_retailers/


Google Wins Mobile Payments Race With Summer Launch Of ‘Wallet’ App

Well I guess you could say if Google is gonna get into this space, then all with be looking and wanting to follow.

A couple of interesting things I see in this space unfolding – one around the opportunity for targeted, relevant advertising ( with a bit of social location thrown in for good measure) and the second for a robust solution that tackles the area of fraud. Maybe device fingerprinting from a company such as Bluecava could provide a solution that tackles both these areas. Let’s see….

The race to make mobile payments mainstream is one of the most competitive contests in the wireless industry, pitting telecom operators against credit card companies, payment processors, handset makers and operating system providers. With its May 26 announcement that it is poised to launch a national mobile commerce network (using its Android phones), Google now appears to be in the lead.

The service, called Google Wallet, will store credit cards in electronic form on Android phones. Users will be able to pay for purchases by wirelessly “tapping” their handsets against special readers in participating stores. Users can also receive targeted offers, such as coupons for products they have bought in the past or have indicated they like, directly on their phones while in stores. Loyalty rewards will be automatically tallied within Wallet and receipts will be electronic, as well, popping up on the phone instead of printing out on paper.

Merchants have already started testing the setup and will begin trials in San Francisco and New York City before expanding nationally this summer. American Eagle, the Container Store, Macy’s, Subway, Toys “R” Us and Walgreens are part of the initial group of retailers that will support the system.

As the name Wallet suggests, the app will support a variety of different cards, including credit cards, loyalty cards and gift cards. At first, Google Wallet will only work with Citi MasterCards, since both companies are Google Wallet launch partners. Users can also opt to load money onto a prepaid, Google-hosted card that can be funded by another type of credit card. Google says it will add more cards over time and hopes to eventually include other types of ID and passes, such as drivers licenses, event tickets and electronic hotel keys.

Retailers, says Google, will benefit from a corresponding service called Google Offers that will enable consumers to search for special offers and save them to their Google Wallet. Those stored coupons can then be redeemed by tapping a Wallet-equipped phone at a cash register or showing the phone screen to a cashier.

Merchants will be able to customize incentives based on a customer’s location and transaction history. A particularly frequent customer can receive a higher-value deal than a less loyal customer, for instance. Google Offers will go live in Portland, San Francisco and New York City this summer.

Google also plans to support location-based “check-in” offers, offers that are placed like ads in Google searches and offers that are situated in Google’s local business/maps service, Google Places.

Using a cellphone as a wallet is convenient but could be risky. Google says its Wallet app contains multiple levels of security, including a phone screen lock and a required Google account and pin number. The search giant also says credit cards are encrypted on a secure element within the phone and never fully displayed.

Part of the security comes from a chip developed by European semiconductor maker NXP, which collaborated with Google on its latest flagship smartphone, the Samsung-made Nexus S. That chip also enables Google Wallet to communicate wirelessly with all the various Wallet partners, via a technology called NFC (near-field communication).

Google’s vision appears similar to strategies espoused by organizations like ISIS, the mobile commerce startup backed by AT&T, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless. New York-based ISIS is about a year behind Google, though it may have an advantage in being compatible with a greater variety of phones once it launches.

During Google’s Thursday New York event, its Vice President of Payments, Osama Bedier, argued that Google is “uniquely positioned” to roll out a mobile commerce program because of its wide-ranging partnerships forged through Android and its search and advertising businesses. Bedier, who was a top executive at eBay’s PayPal until January, noted, “This has to be an ecosystem; it can’t just be one company.”

Bedier also acknowledged Google’s lead in the mobile payments race by adding, “This is not just an idea or announcement…this is up and running.”

Source: http://blogs.forbes.com/elizabethwoyke/2011/05/26/google-wins-mobile-payments-race-with-summer-launch-of-wallet-app/


Best Buy expands location-based walk-in rewards to 1,300 locations nationwide

Shopkick- Best BuyBest Buy drives in-store traffic via shopkick app

Best Buy is ramping up its mobile game by expanding shopkick walk-in rewards to all of its 1,300 locations nationwide.

The company is rewarding consumers and offering consumers exclusive deals just for stepping inside almost any of its locations. Best Buy originally unveiled shopkick in 257 stores and the nationwide launch will now place shopkick in all 1,296 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile United States locations.

“This is basically what we’ve been waiting for since we’ve been launched,” said Cyriac Roeding, cofounder/CEO of shopkick, Palo Alto, CA. “The roll out is the ultimate proof that shopkick is working for retailers.

“After 9 months of testing, Best Buy went nationwide,” he said. “It was much sooner than planned.”

The Best Buy family of brands and partnerships collectively generates more than $50 billion in annual revenue and includes brands such as Best Buy, Audiovisions, Best Buy Mobile, The Carphone Warehouse, Five Star, Future Shop, Geek Squad, Magnolia Audio Video, Napster, Pacific Sales, and The Phone House.

Last year, shopkick launched its mobile application that hands consumers high-value rewards, offers and exclusive deals at shopkick’s national retail partners simply for walking into stores and malls. Even more rewards can be earned for scanning partner brand products at over 250,000 stores nationwide.

Mobile rewards
Previously, Best Buy was awarding shopkick users when they shopped in its store locations.

Now, the company is simply rewarding consumers just for walking into a store.

Best Buy ran tests that show incremental lift in traffic when they increased rewards for walking in.

Smartphone shoppers can download the shopkick mobile application to take advantage of the initiative.

According to Best Buy, the rollout will make the company the first of shopkick’s launch partners and first consumer electronics retailer to provide the mobile shopping experience to customers.

How it works
The shopkick app, combined with the shopkick Signal – an inaudible sound emitted from a patent-pending device located in each participating retailer – verifies a user is in-store, and then rewards them for visiting in the form of a currency called “kicks.”

Best Buy originally unveiled shopkick in 257 stores and the nationwide launch will now place shopkick in all 1,296 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile United States locations.

“We recently released shopkick 2.0, which allows you to select your favorite stores and you can select them and they are always with you in a sleek user interface where you can see their deals anytime, and swipe them and see them at any point,” Mr. Roeding said.

“In the next step we’re going to show initial cool features and that’s a big step forward because consumers love to interact with their most favorite places and no one has offered you only your favorite places in one screen, on one app in top deals only,” he said.

Source: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/10010.html


Mothercare launches a mobile commerce site

Retailer Mothercare launched its first mobile commerce site this week. 

The user interface was designed in-house, while the site was developed by Usablenet, which has also worked on mobile sites for John Lewis and M&S.

Site search and navigation

Mothercare has opted for a simple mobile site design, and one which has been optimised for smartphones. Visitors to the site from other devices will see a more basic version.

As well as a prominent search box, the site has very clear navigational options, represented by 12 ‘buttons’:

This is a good approach for a site which will be accessed by people on touchscreen phones, as it avoid the problem of clicking on the wrong link.

As users navigate through the various sections of the site, filtering options allow them to narrow the available product range, and make the remaining results more relevant:

Product pages

Research suggests that people want the user experience on mobile commerce sites to match that of desktop sites, meaning the same level of detail, product information and functionality that helps them decide on and make a purchase.

Mothercare achieves this with its product pages. There is a good amount of detail (product specs, suitable ages, dimensions etc) for items such as prams and car seats, as well as multiple product photos:

Any product reviews from the main website are shown on mobile, and calls to action are nice and clear:

Checkout process

The checkout has been optimised for mobile users, and also avoids making new customers go through a registration process before checkout, only asking for an email.

The checkout is well-designed and works well, but it is split over several pages, which means more page loads for users who may be on less than perfect 3G connections.

The more page loads, the slower the process is for users, so having things like selecting delivery options on a separate page should perhaps be avoided.

Conclusion

Mobile commerce is growing, with 10m UK consumers conducting a transaction by mobile last year, but unfortunately, 83% experienced some kind of problem when making a purchase.

This means that retailers need to ensure that mobile commerce sites are usable and designed to make payments as easy as possible, and Mothercare’s site fits the bill.

Source: http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/7550-mothercare-launches-a-mobile-commerce-site?utm_medium=email&utm_source=topic