Google Suggests Eliminating Friction to Advance Commerce

by Net Future Institute on March 12, 2013

Maybe eliminating a little friction along the way can advance mobile commerce, or at least lose fewer people in the course of a transaction.

At MediaPost’s OMMA Mobile at SXSW Interactive today, Tim Reis, head of mobile and social solution at Google, articulated some of the search giant’s approaches and attitudes about mobile commerce.

Addressing a standing-room-only audience of what several quick hand-show polls consistently showed a pretty even split between agencies and brands, Reis suggested that effective mobile commerce was more about little things.

His thinking strikes me as making a lot of sense, since many companies look to grand commerce programs rather than smoothing the process.

A good example Reis used was the fallacy of a company in the course of a mobile transaction asking for the shopper’s city, state and zip code when zip code alone should suffice.

“There are contextual opportunities as we go out and about,” said Reis. “It’s about eliminating the tiniest speed bumps.”

As an example of providing contextual opportunities, Reis referred to how grocery chain Meijer geofences special offers so that deals are triggered when a shopper enters the store. As added context, the app adapts as the consumer walks around the store providing offers on nearby products.

As a continuation of a theme you’ve been reading about here the last few weeks, Reis also highlighted the increasing role of tablets. He said that 75 percent of tablet traffic happens in the home but then noted that tablets are getting smaller and smartphones are growing, as we wrote about just yesterday.

Interestingly, he noticed that several in the audience were snapping pictures of his presentation with tablets, since they were using them to take notes, making it natural to extend its usage for a quick pic.

I do like the concept of eliminating friction in the course of transactions. It just might be the little things that move commerce forward.



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