Brands must make consumers feel safe on the web

Marketers who want to sell their products via the internet on smart phones should be focusing on reassuring consumers that their information and credit card details are safe, according to research by Simpson Carpenter.

Lucy Handley

As many as 42% of those in its survey say that better security would persuade them to shop online via their phones more often. This comes top of a list of improvements that people would like to see, which also includes a stable internet connection (34%) and easy to see content (33%).

Many websites are still not optimised for viewing on mobile phones, as our cover story this week shows. The piece focuses on corporate websites, which are unlikely to be used to sell direct, but they may be part of the research people do before they buy, so it is really important that brands make interaction easy.

Budgets may be what is holding brands and businesses back from launching mobile-optimised websites, but as there has been a 162% increase in people shopping in this way over the last year, it may be well worth the investment.

Contactless payment has previously been lauded as the new thing and it is now becoming more mainstream. Barclays Pingit mobile app allows people to quickly send money to each other without having to do a more time-consuming bank transfer. And O2 Wallet, which launched last month, does something similar, letting people compare prices, scan barcodes and then buy, whether they are a customer of O2 or not.

It goes further than this, though. Cogenta, which provides the data behind the app, can show businesses which consumers are most likely to respond to their offers, using behavioural targeting. People using O2 Wallet are more likely to take up these offers as they are relevant to them.

While O2 wallet does not yet include NFC technology, other types of contactless payment are already out there via PayPass. It can be seen in many small shops and cafés, where people can wave their Visa or MasterCard over a scanner, but only 5% of consumers have used it, according to Mintel research.

This is partly due to security worries, but also due to the fact that staff don’t always encourage people to use their PayPass machines.

I’m sure that consumers will soon see the benefits from using this, as well as using services like Pingit and O2 wallet, but marketers must make sure they are clear in their communications to ensure it.

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