The Last Step

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When it comes to online marketing, many of us spend a large amount of time, money and resources attracting people to our website (or app). More sophisticated marketers might employ landing pages, funnels and pathways to help visitors find their way and identify the products or services they’re looking for. However, it’s only more recently online retailers and marketers have taken a hard look at the very last step to purchase: payments. Our team did some online shopping over the holiday season (some of us more than others). We couldn’t help but notice that spending money over the internet has gotten easier. We’ve been telling anyone who will listen for years to shorten their payment processes. These days, the biggest online retailers are taking things to a whole new level, and consumers are getting used to these new conveniences fast. Are your online payment processes keeping up?

You used to have to enter your credit card details at least once on a website or in an app. If you were lucky, the website securely saved the payment information for later purchases. In the days before responsive design, filling out a webform was a process best left for desktop, but then marketers realised that they were missing out on critical sales moments.

So, web design improved and we soon discovered card capture. When I first came across the technology a few years ago, (signing up for Uber) it seemed like magic. No more fiddling around and typing endless numbers. Aim my phone camera at my card and I never had to worry about Uber payments again. Since then, Apple has upped their game in payment technologies – not only does Safari store credit card information, but virtual wallets can be used for offline payments.

However, it’s the subsequent purchases on a site which have recently become increasingly convenient. Gone are the days of endless scrolling through products and then retyping part of your credit card number. Now, websites remember what you bought last time, suggest new items, keep track of when you might need a refill, and prompt you to opt into recurring purchases. Plus, with touch ID and ‘1 click purchase,’ typing out anything seems to be a thing of the past.

ECommerce leader Amazon continues to push the envelope with Amazon Dash buttons and Prime Now deliveries. As this combination of services comes to more locations, it means household items will be delivered to your door in two hours or less, at the literal push of a button. You don’t even have to take your phone out of your pocket.

So what could possibly be next for online retail? Samsung just featured a fridge at CES that orders your groceries. Is it too much to ask for a closet that peruses the latest ASOS sale?