#Asia E-commerce players, copy an experience that you like and make it yours: Tyson Hackwood


The Head of Asia for Braintree Payments gave a few pointers on how to optimise the e-commerce experience efficiently


The world of commerce is being reshaped and contextual buying experiences are changing the way people shop, said Tyson Hackwood, Head of Asia of online payment service Braintree Payments, a subsidiary of Paypal, at the Echelon Asia Summit 2016.

He was referring to the rise of e-commerce and deluge of different sales channels such as Pinterest that have popped up since, changing the way consumers check out products.

In his presentation, Hackwood sought to give the audience a perspective on how e-commerce players can efficiently leverage these new trends to optimise the consumer experience.

Being mobile-first

The evolution of shopping has moved from brick-and-mortar stores to the desktop screens, and now with smartphone penetration on a rapid steep rise, the pocket-sized mobile screen looks set to be the dominant method of customer interaction in the coming years.

Hackwood cited a report stating that a whopping 1.4 billion smartphones were sold last year alone, contributing to the estimated 7.2 billion smartphones in usage globally.

“The mobile screen is the screen you will be interacting with customers, even in B2B,” said Hackwood.

Also Read: 4 handy tips on delivering quality web experience to customers

“What we [Braintree Payments] are seeing is that the fastest growing businesses are the ones that are mobile-first or mobile-only, they know interaction will only be on mobile,” he added.

For Asia, he said, optimising for mobile is even more imperative because the region is by far the biggest adopter of smartphones globally.

The mobile space is also a complex industry. Businesses, especially the bigger ones, do not have just one division dedicated to mobile. That division is usually split into sub-divisions catering to different mobile operating systems such the Android and iOS.

Making the experience seamless

Building a smooth user experience is dependent on two things: time and effort. The best experiences are the ones where you minimise the time and steps to complete a purchase; in other words, making it as unnoticeable as possible.

Citing ride-sharing giant Uber’s payment mechanism, Hackwood said:

“Make the experience clean, make it easy and make it quick. Ask for the customer’s details only once… integrate their payment details only once.”

Seamlessness also means cutting out irrelevant information from the mobile site/app so that consumers would not feel overwhelmed and click out. In addition, business should allow the consumer to stay in the app as much as possible. For example, for a train service app it would be optimal if consumers could purchase and find the ticket to board on the same app.

Copy an experience that works

If you are a small business, you don’t have a lot of resources to experiment and come up with new methods of commerce.

So what can you do?

Hackwood suggested that you can simply copy successful examples, or the ones that best fit your model.

“Copy someone, don’t try to make it up. Find someone you like, copy the experience and make it yours. You don’t have to spend millions of dollar to create a new experience. Copy the suppliers, copy the parts that you like.”

This allows businesses to focus on their core business model.

Leveraging on partners

Besides copying successful examples to accelerate growth, businesses should out seek out the right partners to leverage on.

Also Read: The 5 customer happiness metrics you should be tracking

“As you grow globally, find the partners that will help you scale, find partners that will help you do what you do. You need to find what differences there are in each market, as well as within the regulatory environments. It is important because you don’t want to fall foul of the laws. These are boring stuff, but finding the right partners to handle these allows you to focus on your core business model,” said Hackwood.

In conclusion, he reiterated that customer experience is paramount to the business.

“No matter how much you spend on AdWords, it is all going to come down to the user experience, and that is mobile-focussed,” he concluded.

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