The Race To Digital Mastery Is On In 2016

Martin Gill

When it comes to digital, we are at a pivot point. Digitizing your business isn’t about technology: it’s about customer obsession - and in 2016, it will be among your ten critical business success factors helping position your firm for success in the Age of the Customer. In fact, next year will be a year of consequence: those firms that “get digital” will begin to pull ahead, and those firms that don’t will begin to look increasingly archaic, facing the risk of extinction.

The preliminary results from our recent digital business survey are telling. An increasing number of firms are reporting that they have a coherent and comprehensive digital strategy. While this is good news, these firms are still the minority. The vast majority of firms report that their approach to digital is limited at best, and non-existent at worst. But the consistently bleak picture is that most executives think the wrong people are in charge of their digital activities and few (very few) think they have the capabilities to deliver.

But there are some shining lights.

Leading firms like John Deere are pathing the path to digital mastery, demonstrating revenue and share price growth that outpaces less digitally savvy competitors. Executive committees are taking note. Innovation spend is on the rise, digital skills are in hot demand, and a new breed of digitally savvy senior leaders is finally emerging.

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2016 Predictions: Key Trends Will Transform Mobile Engagement

Julie Ask

2016 will be the most consequential year for companies on the path to customer obsession, and that includes adapting to empowered customers who expect to get anything they want immediately, in context on their mobile devices.  Today that represents nearly 50% of consumers in the U.S. alone. The consumers pick up their mobile devices 150 to 200 times a day. In aggregate, that adds up to nearly 30 billion mobile moments each day. These mobile moments are the next battleground where companies will win, serve and retain their customers. Tragically, few companies will make the leap. Those that do will reap the rewards.

 

What role does mobile play in customer obsession, and how can businesses leapfrog their competition to deliver superior customer experiences? Here are three ways Forrester predicts mobile will change the ways business leaders operate in 2016.

 

1. Mobile will act as a catalyst to transform businesses in the Age of the Customer.

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Introducing Forrester's Digital Store Playbook

Adam Silverman

At Forrester's Digital Business Forum in Chicago today, we announced the launch of our brand new Digital Store Playbook. This playbook provides a structured framework to guide eBusiness professionals through digital store transformation – from creating a digital transformation vision to developing a digital store business case. 

As part of a much broader and highly digitally-influenced customer shopping journey, brick and mortar shopping is increasingly becoming a digitally enhanced experience. Retail stores that use digital technology to drive convenience, service and relevant personalized experiences for customers will succeed, while those who fail to make smart investments in technology that enhances the in-store experience risk losing market share to more customer-centric competitors. As such, it is imperative that retail eBusiness executives have the appropriate tools, knowledge, and cross-role alignment to operate a digital store platform that not only unlocks new sources of value for customers but also increases operational agility in service of customers. We crafted this playbook to address key elements of digital store success. The Digital Store Playbook will help you:

  • Discover the far-reaching impact of store digitization. Forrester’s Digital Store Playbook introduces the value of using digital technology to enhance the in-store experience for customers and associates alike. Along with outlining the benefits, we discuss the costs associated with digital store transformation.
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Digital Business Q&A with Liza Landsman, Jet.com

Martin Gill

Deliver exceptional digital experiences. It sounds easy enough, but to win in the age of the customer, businesses must realize that there is much at stake if they do not focus efforts on providing customers with a solid customer experience. Forrester even argues that, in the coming years, it’s the customer obsessed digital leaders who will push far ahead of their competition. But how can they get there?

To help digital leaders exceed the expectations of their empowered customers, Forrester has designed this week’s Digital Business Forum around how to build a strategy that works — now and in the future. Liza Landsman, executive vice president and chief customer officer of Jet.com will be on stage alongside Forrester analysts Stephen Powers, Adam Silverman and Alyson Clarke to share her experience in digital business transformation.

At Jet.com, Liza is responsible for producing a compelling end-to-end customer experience with the tools and technologies that drive growth. I’m happy to share the below Q&A session with Liza — I caught up with her in advance of her keynote, and she was kind enough to chat about digital strategy and customer behaviors, and the ways that Jet.com handles its competition.

Enjoy, and I hope to see you in Chicago today!

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Verifone Puts New Stake in The Ground With Developer Platform

Brendan Miller
 
Yesterday Verifone announced a next generation family of payment devices, called Verifone Engage.  Verifone promises to wrap more value around the merchant-consumer interaction at the point-of-purchase with new personalized marketing features, pay-with-points and rewards.  In addition, they introduced an expanded Verifone Commerce Platform giving developers the tools to publish POS apps to a new App Marketplace for merchants.  They Linux based devices will provide an accessible and well-known framework for developers to innovate upon.  Software based solutions are transforming the industry and Verifone risked getting commoditized as a hardware vendor if it didn’t act by building a platform and marketplace for developers.   
 
What does this mean for the rest of the Payments Industry? Two stakeholders in particular will be impacted.  
 
POS Developers (ISVs) – Engage is a good development for the POS developer community and merchants.  The whole mission of a POS is to improve the customer experience at the point of purchase and streamline back-office processes for the merchant.  ISVs could integrate with Engage hardware and offer merchants more services through the Verifone App Marketplace, publish apps of their own, and potentially earn new residual revenue sources from merchants paying to use those applications.
 
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Can Content Really Drive Commerce?

Sucharita  Mulpuru

In a recent Forrester-Shop.org study, we found that 70% of online retailers are investing in “content” in the coming year. What sort of content you may ask. Usually when they say “content” retailers mean videos, blog posts and magazine-like content that is best for consumers at the top of the shopping funnel. This type of content though is notoriously difficult to monetize though.  A number of companies like Babycenter in the late 1990s were the first wave of content-driving-commerce digital players to try this.  They quickly realized it was not only difficult to do but that top-of-the-funnel content was easier monetized through advertising.

But we’re in a different era now and that’s kicked up the possibility of new success from content.  We now have ubiquitous mobile devices with web connectivity, social networks like Pinterest and Instagram that thrive on content, and the disruption of the entire content industry (RIP, Lucky Magazine which was one of the hottest media properties in 1999).

But are things really that different now?  For all its attempts to drive commerce, even fashion darling Refinery29 could never make shopping happen.  One of the more recent torchbearers of content-commerce synergies, Thrillist-JackThreads, decided the businesses are better split apart than together.  

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Netflix Claims Earnings Are Down As Many Subscribers Cards on File Do Not Get Updated

Brendan Miller

On Thursday Netflix blamed card processing issues for disappointing subscriber growth. Netflix said the move by U.S. banks to replace hundreds of millions of credit and debit cards with new EMV chip-enabled cards this year has led to involuntary service cancellations as subscibers cards did not automatically renew when the new cards were issued.   It is estimated that 575 million new EMV chip cards are being issued to consumers in 2015*. Many of these new cards require updated account information to be collected by subscription or recurring businesses servicing the affected cardholders.  Although the cardholder’s account number may not change with the new card, the CVV and expiration date of the card most likely will change.

Do subscription type businesses that use Card-On-File need to be concerned they will also see increased declines?

Recurring and subscription billing merchants should be using Account Updater Services (as Netflix does) for updating new payment credentials. Over the past decade, the major card brands have introduced Account Updater services that allow merchants, via their processors, to submit card data on file to the networks for updating and correcting stale information. By utilizing these services merchants retain more customers and their customers enjoy uninterrupted service. Many payment platforms are now supporting this feature as a managed service to reduce the burden on the merchant of transmitting Card on file information to the processor.

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The Race For Mobile Payments Is Heating Up In Southeast Asia

Zhi-Ying Ng

My recently published report, “The Mobile Payment Opportunity In Southeast Asia,” finds that mobile payments are hot in Southeast Asia, with online and mobile-based purchases already exceeding tens of billions of dollars. Venture capital firms are also investing close to $75 million in mobile payments, drawn by a combination of factors including a booming digital content market, increase in online and mobile commerce and favorable government policies.

Well aware of the mobile payment opportunity, banks are scrambling to build their own mobile payment systems. But it’s not just financial institutions that are competing against each other to provide the best mobile payment services to their customers. Surging smartphone penetration in the region has created revenue opportunities for mobile operators, credit card networks and financial technology startups, all of which are also rapidly ramping up their mobile payment capabilities to stay competitive.

The brutal reality is that there is a high risk some of the banks’ mobile payment systems will fail. How then can banks ensure the success of their mobile payment systems?

eBusiness professionals need to keep up with the shifting landscape by understanding the market trends, usage scenarios, and local mobile payment options available to consumers. We recommend that banks incorporate three market dynamics into their mobile payment strategies:

  • User scenario for mobile payments varies across Southeast Asia. P2P payment growth in emerging markets differs from developed markets. We expect remittances to continue to spur P2P payment growth in emerging markets, and P2P payments will continue to account for a small share of transactions in developed markets.
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The Transition to EMV Presents New Opportunities for Mobile Payments

Brendan Miller
Merchant EMV hardware and software upgrades at the POS pave the road for additional contactless mobile payment transactions. Most new EMV POS hardware equipment also comes Near Field Communications (NFC) ready.  In timely fashion many new mobile payments types are hitting the market (Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal) to take advantage of the new NFC/EMV payment acceptance hardware being installed in merchant locations.  This creates a new opportunity for both in-store and eCommerce merchants if leveraged appropriately.   
 
Tapping and paying with a mobile device removes the EMV experience friction points.   Tapping and paying with a mobile device is just as frictionless as swiping a card through a mag-stripe terminal. Consumers will find the NFC transaction more convenient than an EMV card transaction, which requires dipping it in an EMV terminal, waiting for it to read the card, remembering a PIN and then pulling it out of the reader.  Consumers will likely gravitate to the NFC simpler transaction process and become more habituated to using their mobile device to pay in-store.  Furthermore, as mobile payment providers move toward digitizing consumer loyalty credentials in-app will also help reduce additional check-out friction points.   
 
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New Fraud Targets: The Impacts of EMV Chip Card Migration Brings New Challenges

Brendan Miller
 
EMV chip card arrival to U.S. shores does not mean fraud is going away.  It will most likely shift to new channels and verticals post EMV implementation.  Past EMV transitions throughout the rest of the world have shown that EMV plays a big role in reducing in-store fraud.  Consequently, fraud flows to other channels such as Card-Not Present (CNP) environments where cards and users are more difficult to authenticate, as well as SMB in-store merchants where hardware and software has not been installed.  In this post we'll look at some of the impacts of EMV chip card migration in the U.S.
 
The U.S. will Most Likely See an Increase in eCommerce Fraud
 The U.K. saw an increase of 62 percent in card-not-present fraud after its implementation of EMV, as criminals shifted their efforts to other channels of least resistance*.  France, Canada and Australia all cite higher than 50% more instances of CNP fraud in the years following EMV implementation.  
  • Prepaid eGifts will become a particularly vulnerable fraud target.  Online gifts  require little information to send and receive, and as a result become a high-value target for fraudsters.  The growing trend of electronic gifting helps satisfy consumer demand for an instant product that is sent to anyone’s inbox around the world in seconds.  While physical gift card shipment usually takes a few hours or few days to process the merchant has time to verify the validity of the receiver.  Most fraud decisions about eGifting have to be made in real-time.  
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