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While mobile commerce is growing, one area for improvement is the checkout process. Sometimes it's just too much hassle to pay by mobile.
However, while other devices are better for browsing a range of products before making a considered purchase, a simple mobile checkout can be an effective method of capturing impulse and repeat shoppers.
To make the most of this opportunity m-commerce sites need to make the purchase journey as short as possible, and one way of doing this is by saving the customer’s credit card and delivery details so future purchase can be completed just by entering a username and password.
Amazon’s one-click payment system is probably the most well known example of this technology and is a key reason for its continued growth in mobile sales as it encourages customers to make repeat purchases.
And in April we reported that Obama’s re-election campaign achieved a response rate 20 times greater than normal when it used a one-click SMS system to solicit for donations.
As the user's card details were already stored they just had to text back the amount of dollars they wished to donate and their card was automatically billed.
With this in mind, I took a look at several of the UK's top retailers to see which ones offer a simple one-click payment system for repeat purchases...
As mentioned, Amazon has a very quick payment system as it saves both your card details and delivery address.
This means there are very few clicks between selecting the product and confirming the transaction which is great for capturing repeat impulse buys.
Although Tesco does store card and shipping details there are still a number of screens to negotiate before you are able to complete the transaction which is likely to deter some impulse shoppers.
Also it doesn’t store the security code, so the customer needs to enter that information to confirm the payment.
M&S stores both credit card and delivery details, although it doesn’t actually give you any indication that the details will be saved during the checkout process.
You only find out that it has saved your details when you go back to make another purchase. Also, the overall process is still quite long which is likely to deter repeat impulse purchases.
John Lewis is another retailer that appears to save your details without making it overtly clear to the customer.
It definitely saved my shipping address, however I cannot confirm if it also stored my card details as the only way to find out is to first make a purchase, which I wasn’t wiling to do.
As with Tesco, ASOS allows the customer to select whether their details are stored for future use.
It then uses this data to make repeat purchases extremely quick, as all payment and delivery details are automatically displayed on a single screen. Therefore once you have entered in your username and password you only need to key in your card security code before you can complete the transaction.
This is perfect for mobile as it keeps the purchase journey for returning customers to an absolute minimum.
As with John Lewis and M&S you aren’t given any indication that Debenhams is saving your personal details.
You need to be a returning customer to find out for certain as it isn't made clear during the checkout, but I assume that both card details and delivery address are saved.
While this is only a small sample of retailers, it does suggest that it is common practice to store the customer’s card details for future purchases.
However not all mobile checkouts then make the process as simple as it should be.
In my view ASOS makes best use of the customer data as it condenses the purchase journey down to a single screen and automatically populates the billing and shipping addresses.
Though the other retailers store information several of them still require you to go through a number of screens and confirm your details by selecting from dropdown menus.
While that process isn’t exactly arduous, ASOS’s example shows just how simple repeat purchases can be so any extra screens should be gotten rid of.
Furthermore, several of the retailers I looked at should do more to let customers know that their details are being stored.
Not only does this mean that the shopper knows that future purchases will be much quicker, but it also reassures them that the retailer is being up front about what personal data is being collected.