We are in a highly transformative time as changing customer expectations, commerce capabilities, and technology continue to evolve rapidly. Initiatives that just a few short years ago would have seemed a long way off — such as mobile commerce, app stores, multichannel order management, or embedding shopping on Facebook — are now squarely on the priority list of eCommerce business and technology leaders. And as consumer expectations, client needs, and the competitive environment continue to evolve, pressure on executives to make the right choices in technology and operational capabilities continues to mount. With this research, we highlight what every exec should know as they navigate these choices and position their company to succeed and fully capitalize on the transformation technology is enabling across their business.
As we have talked to many executives across many verticals consistent questions emerge on how to work ahead of these changes and stay ahead of the curve. The report we just published today looks to address these questions, based on many conversations across the vendor and client community and across verticals.
I am intrigued by last week's announcement from UK payment processor VocaLink and Australian financial software vendor eWise that they are collaborating to build an online banking transfer payment system for the UK. Online banking transfer systems make it (fairly) easy for online shoppers to authorize payments through online banking by integrating the payment details into their bank's secure online banking site. The customer is routed directly from the merchant's site to the bank to authorize the payment and back again.
In the Netherlands, the iDEAL online banking transfer system has been highly successful. It's now used by some 10 million Dutch online shoppers for about 5 million transactions a month. But the UK's online shopping market is different to the Dutch one in a couple of important ways. Firstly, debit cards can be used to pay online in the UK. Since almost all adults have a debit card, paying online is not a big problem in the UK, unlike many other European markets. Secondly, UK Net users have always been relatively complacent about online security compared with other Europeans. That means that one of the primary attributes of an online banking transfer system -- more robust security -- may not cut that much ice with British online shoppers.
Forrester has long argued that any new payment system needs to overcome three hurdles to succeed: providing a clear improvement over the existing alternatives, driving consumer and merchant adoption, and developing a viable business model for all parties.
GSI Commerce has been making a lot of news of late with acquisitions and a reshaping on their business from a full-service eCommerce provider to an eCommerce and marketing services company. I had the pleasure recently of asking Michael Rubin, founder and CEO of GSI, a series of questions in order to better understand how the company is changing and what we can look for in the future from the company.
1) FORRESTER: From the outside it appears that GSI has changed a lot over the last few years, from a full-service eCommerce solution provider to a company with many different offerings. How do you explain what GSI is today? How do you see that continuing to evolve?