Monthly Archives: October 2013

What Do Customers Want? Survey Shows Growing Appetite for More Communications

In our always connected society, we increasingly rely on real-time information and notifications in our daily lives – from checking our bank account balance on a smartphone app to getting a text message saying a prescription is ready for pick-up. And, new research commissioned by Varolii shows consumers find this type of proactive outreach from businesses extremely welcome and helpful.

This national study of 1,000 adults shows that consumers want more, not less, customer service related communication from businesses. In fact, a majority of respondents – 70 percent – believe these messages could help them avoid issues, like a late fee. And, nearly 80 percent of respondents say they trust the judgment of the companies with whom they have relationships about when, why and how to send such messages.

What About Laws Restricting Communications?

The TCPA dictates that companies cannot automatically dial or send informational text messages to mobile phones without the prior express consent of the recipient. But, consumers may have a different opinion.

The research shows nearly one in four consumers automatically assume that the companies they do business with can contact them. Eighty-four percent of respondents also strongly believe that if they give their cell phone number as their primary contact to a company, then it is acceptable for that company to contact them at that number.

This doesn’t mean we should ignore the regulations – it just means that consumers may be more open to more asks for consent. Balancing compliance and customer satisfaction is a challenge we all face today. Companies must find the right blend of customer outreach – providing the right information at the right time, via the right channel – while still adhering to various state and federal rules.

How Do They Want These Communications?

Consumers still like traditional emails and phone calls, but mobile is fast becoming the top way to reach a majority of American consumers. Today, nearly 80 percent of Americans have given their cell number to a company – with more than one-quarter of respondents indicating they usually or always provide their cell number. Additionally, consumers now favor text messaging just as much as getting a phone call. One in five respondents surveyed say text messaging is their preferred form of communication.

top preferred channels What do Customers Want? Survey Shows a Growing Appetite for More Communications

What Do Customers Want? Survey Shows Growing Appetite for More Communications, 2013, October 24, by Brian Moore, retrieved from http://bankinnovation.net/2013/10/what-do-customers-want-survey-shows-growing-appetite-for-more-communications/.

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Latin Americans Give Strong Seal of Approval to Social

Much fonder adopters of social media than internet users in the US

Social media has quickly become important to internet users in Latin America, based on research from Ipsos ITOX and Ipsos Global @dvisor.

The July 2013 survey of web users around the world found that nearly four in 10 of those in Brazil, along with 28% in Mexico and 27% in Argentina, rated social media “very important,” or a five on a five-point scale. A further quarter of internet users in Brazil and Mexico, and 19% more in Argentina, rated social media a four. That means a solid majority of web users in Brazil and Mexico, and nearly half in Argentina, consider social media at least somewhat important to them.

That makes these users much more likely than those in the US to place importance on social media—just internet users polled in the US said social media was “very important,” with a further 21% rating it somewhat important. Numbers were similar in most of Europe, though internet users in Russia and Spain were a bit further ahead than other countries studied. The attitudes of web users in Canada almost exactly mirrored those of the US. Latin American web users appear most similar to those in developing economies in Asia-Pacific, including India, where 30% of internet users considered social media very important, Indonesia (27%) and China (25%).

eMarketer estimates that this year, 38.4 million internet users in Mexico will use social networking sites at least monthly, as well 78.3 million internet users in Brazil and 17.8 million in Argentina.

Latin Americans Give Strong Seal of Approval to Social . Retrieved from 2013, Oct 22,  http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Latin-Americans-Give-Strong-Seal-of-Approval-Social/1010322#cOsyQprXkv3kH4DT.99.

6 ways to increase sales and optimise your ecommerce payment page

sales-increase

Online merchants can reduce payment page abandonment by focussing on a few key changes to their payment page which can increase checkout conversion rates. Customising the payment page will limit problems and help cardholders feel secure. Although one would most likely expect that many of the below points are expected norms, I have often experienced frustration at the time of purchase and seen issues surrounding the merchants payment page which either led me to repeating the payment process or bailing out of the purchase all together.

Here are a few key pointers.

1. Payment page error handling

Alerting cardholders to commonly made mistakes on the payment page limits frustration. By using in-line error handling, the number of payment processing steps are also reduced. The transaction request does not proceed to the bank or the payment provider before a cardholder’s information is accurately entered. This prevents time being wasted between web pages, lessens cardholder confusion and reduces payment page abandonment. There is nothing more frustrating than the cardholder’s payment being rejected due to invalid payment data being entered and having to click the back button to start the process over again. Error handling on the payment page alerts the cardholder of data that either needs to be added or amended such as correct card number or CVV before proceeding with the transaction.

2. Numeric validation

Only allow numeric characters to be entered in fields intended for numeric characters. Stopping alpha or special characters from being entered into the text box during the entry of card details or payment information will reduce finger error.

3. Mod 10 Luhn check

The Luhn algorithm or Luhn formula, also known as the “modulus 10″ or “mod 10″ algorithm, is a simple checksum formula used to authenticate a variety of identification numbers like credit card numbers. Most credit cards use the Luhn algorithm as a way to distinguish valid numbers from collections of random digits. Designed to detect accidental errors, this is a quick way to eliminate credit card number errors before a transaction is submitted to the payment gateway.

4. Expiry date

Make it clear to the card holder which box is for month and which is for year. This can be indicated by placing a label next to or above a text box or by making month/year a selection choice in a drop down menu. The recommended option is to enable selection of the expiration date using two separate dropdown lists: one for month and one for year. Ensure only to display current and future years.

5. Validating the CVV length

Visa, MasterCard and Diners use a three-digit CVV number placed on the back of the credit card. American Express uses a four digit number placed on the front of the credit card. Validate that the CVV code contains the correct number of digits based on the credit card type. To do this you will work with two parameters: the card number and its CVV number. The main card number is used to determine the associated account linked to the card. The first six digits of the main card number identify the card issuer, for example, American Express or MasterCard. If the card is issued by American Express, the code you will check for is 4 digits long. For all other cards, the CVV code has 3 digits. If the CVV entered by the card holder is too long or too short to match the card then you can prompt card holder to amend before proceeding.

6. 1Click payments

A 1Click Payment enables cardholders to only enter CVV after the initiated transaction. This simplifies the checkout experience and reduces the amount of data the cardholder is required to enter on the payment page. The payment gateway will tokenize the card holder’s details during the initial transaction so that the merchant does not store any card data. For subsequent transactions, the card holder is only required to enter their CVV to process the payment, making the checkout process easier. At any point, the card holder can amend card details, which will update the token with the new card information.

6 ways to increase sales and optimise your ecommerce payment page. Retrieved from http://ventureburn.com/2013/10/6-ways-to-increase-sales-and-optimise-your-ecommerce-payment-page/.

How to reduce cart abandonment for mobile device users

It’s a classic double-edged sword and one we’ve all probably wrestled with more than once: You need to make an unplanned business trip and you’re looking for a last-minute flight. You find a good deal online, and as you hastily proceed through the checkout, something goes wrong.

After typing in your name, address and credit card number, you mis-key a digit of your credit card number. The transaction doesn’t go through. The screen seems to yell at you. START OVER. You feel like yelling back.

You have to get to a meeting, so you close your browser and vow to revisit the process later or — worse — try booking the flight on another travel site.

Cart abandonment is a well-known problem for merchants trying to sell goods to online shoppers, and it is even more pronounced when the shopper is using a mobile device.

Travelocity was seeing far too much of it, so the online travel booking site turned to Jumio for a solution. Continue reading

A B2B e-commerce success story: Airgas

Game Plan B2B E-Commerce Forum in Chicago last week hosted a plethora of great keynotes and industry experts to talk all things e-commerce in the B2B space.

The attendees heard from Steve Max, director of e-Commerce at Airgas,  during a featured address with author and TV personality Mark Jeffries moderating.

Max discussed “The Airgas Story – Reinventing Your eBusiness: Platform, Operations and Organization.”

Through its subsidiaries, Airgas the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hard-goods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, and a leading U.S. distributor of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals.

It was insightful to get a peek into the Airgas customer base by market and how they sell gas online.

Airgas launched their first website in 1997 that resembled “brochure-ware” and in 2001 moved over to an e-commerce site.  Max stated that back in 2001 many folks thought e-commerce was “just a fad.”

“You say that now-a-days in a board room and you get kicked out,” said Max, when asked by Mark if he saw e-commerce as a solid career path.

B2C has set customers’ expectations for e-commerce. But for B2B, online procurement is just as important as online ordering.  Based on Max’s comments, his customers are telling him that, even more than being able to research and order online, they want to be able to complete the transactions with online (and even mobile) payments.

Companies need to ask themselves, “how does e-commerce fit into my overall brand?” before developing their strategies. After identifying what the e-commerce strategy is, then they need to find out what the customers really want out of it. The final step is bringing that strategic plan to management with a solid business case for making the investment.

E-commerce cannot be “siloed,” it must have an omni-channel focus. And as Max put it, “What is online cannot be too radical to what we do offline.”

A B2B e-commerce success story: Airgas, Retrieved from http://www.the-future-of-commerce.com/2013/10/11/airgas-ecommerce-success.

How Biometric POS Solutions Became Market-Ready

Started by a young visionary, the company’s innovations quickly came to define the century, its name adorned countless household technologies and its newest advances are poised to set the stage for a revolution in payments security. No, we’re not talking about Apple.

That innovator is William Henry Merrill, and that century was the 1900s. The electrical engineer founded safety consulting and certification specialist UL in 1894, and since then, the Illinois-based organization has grown to become a leader in developing innovative technologies, whether it’s the tin-clad fire doors of year’s past or the biometric solutions that are shaping commerce today.

UL’s latest contribution to the future of payments has been accomplished through its three years of work with National Security, a French biometrics company that has created a commercially viable biometric technology solution for the point of sale.

The move positions UL and National Security at the forefront of an industry that is expected to expand by 140 percent to reach $12 billion in revenue over the next five years, potentially transforming online, mobile and in-store commerce by increasing the speed of transactions in the process.

Still, arguments can be made that biometric use at the point of sale will remain limited. Why does UL believe the market is right for biometrics, and how did it successfully ensure biometric payments will be ready for all parts of the payment process?

We preview UL’s latest transaction security case study to reveal more.  Continue reading

Zions Bank Combs Big Data for Customer Preference Clues

What do Hispanic small business owners want? Zions Bank, recognizing the growing Hispanic community in Utah, has turned to analytics software to better understand the needs of Hispanic and Asian consumers and businesses in its markets.

“Our mission was to provide Hispanic and Asian communities the opportunity to have banking services and to have more access to capital on the business side,” says Juancarlos Judd, senior vice president of the $53 billion asset bank, which is based in Salt Lake City.

Utah’s 2012 population was 2.8 million and non-white communities comprised 20%, reaching nearly 600,000, 67% of which Hispanic. Utah’s Hispanic aggregate income is projected to surpass $6 billion by 2017.

There are also burgeoning small business opportunities within this market. “Utah is a very entrepreneurial state, so by nature immigrants coming in are entrepreneurial themselves, it’s a really good place for thriving small and large businesses,” says Judd.

The bank has been using business intelligence software from Geospace to better understand the Hispanic market.

“You start out thinking you need Spanish language support, but it’s much more a matter of identifying the needs of every consumer,” says Judd. Continue reading