Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending ACI Worldwide’s eCommerce Disruption Opportunity Summit in London to learn more about how disruption is affecting many areas of the financial world and how companies have overcome it
The host, Andreas Suma, opened the event with an interesting array of facts about the online financial world. Truths such as “half of ecommerce buying is cross border with around $2.2 trillion in spending annually”. This number is phenomenal He went on to inform us that naturally with the rise of online payments, there’s also a rise in e-fraud, with numbers reaching about $2 billion a year. The reason for fraud being such a big deal to companies, besides the losing of revenue, is the notion that fraud degrades the customer experience as a customer is unlikely to return if they’ve been a victim of fraud on a company’s site.
The first keynote speaker was Terry Jones, current chairman of Wayblazer, who spoke about digital disruption. The speech was very informative and outside the box, with analogies comparing the current financial trends with the steamboat industry and how the businesses that contributed to steam power were ultimately destroyed when the new wave of technology came about.
With the rise of technology, especially the internet and the way business was forever changed after it, the flow of information has started to flow “in two directions after user content”. Jones’ keynote revolved around the idea of the “edge”. Right now it is the world of apps that rule the edge, they’re the technology that is adapting quickest, is simple and quick to use and that is why we love them so much
The insights Jones gave to businesses was about how the customer is always on which enables them to be a “force of destruction”. With any Joe Bloggs being able to go to an alternative choice in an eight of a second with a click of a button it is imperative for businesses to provide instant gratification. Ways in which companies can retain these destructive customers is through offering more forms of payment, such as Apple Pay and Alipay etc.,
John Rossman, author of Amazon Way, shared a lot of points with Jones. Going along with the current zeitgeist of obsessing over customers, he states this is how conglomerates such as Amazon have grown to the size they are today.
Companies need to evolve to be able to “invent and simplify for both the customer and organisation to grow” commented Rossman. He went on to say a very interesting method of working with customers with the idea of simplifying the worst customer experience you’ve had. If a person can identify exactly what made that experience so bad then they should also be able to identify a way to make it better, but have to develop it in a way that makes it easy and quick enough to not lose the customer attention.
Rossman went on to deliver other strategies on how to keep a business successful but the roots of the keynote was that businesses have to be trustworthy above anything, simple and to develop prototypes for testing. Customers are very vocal these days, with the increase in comparison sites. This isn’t a negative; if a company samples the feedback then they can scrap programmes, rewire them or add additional features.
In this age of the customer, companies must be frictionless; service must be available 24/7 anywhere in the world and take the customer on an elegant journey. With the channels, mobile and counter etc., blurring businesses should be able to facilitate a customer’s transaction across several platforms at once and potentially across borders, making it seamless.
By Dylan Jones