Mobile Commerce

Why Email Could Be the Missing Link to Selling Online

The idea of email marketing might seem slightly less exciting when put next to something like a beacon-prompted push notification on a cool mobile device when near a physical store. But @Pay CEO John Killoran says that mobile buying has, to date, been a tremendous failure. He says that because the majority of consumers – like 77 percent of them according to a recent survey – said email was their preferred way to receive promotional messages from companies. So, why do online shoppers continue to shun newer channels for the chance to buy within an email?



While new mobile technologies and ways to buy things seem to be cropping up from every direction in the payments world, consumers still consider email to be a legitimate channel through which to stay informed of brand offerings.

In a survey on consumers’ views of email marketing, 83 percent of those surveyed said the most important reason behind signing up for emails from their favorite brands is to receive discounts, according to BlueHornet. Furthermore, 77 percent of consumers surveyed in a channel preference survey said that email is their preferred channel through which to receive promotional messages from companies whom they have granted permission to send them ongoing information, says ExactTarget.

But what, exactly, prompts a consumer to buy something in just an email? For one, said @Pay CEO John Killoran in a PYMNTS interview, when shopping online, mobile buying, especially when it comes to digital wallets, to date has been a tremendous failure.

“About 97 percent of all transactions on the mobile device are abandoned – there are too many clicks, passwords, and product details to enter on such a small device,” he said. What’s more, he added, just about everyone has an email address.

“It’s a connecting point to customers, and most importantly, it can be used to reach them on their mobile phones,” he said.



Email marketing itself has evolved from just a digital way to send junk mail flyers. Now, it’s about big data – promotional emails are highly targeted, highly personalized one-to-one communications. Smart, forward-thinking brands are analyzing the millions of digital footprints that email-checking consumers leave behind. They’re gaining insight into a customer’s buying habits by studying past purchases, social media interactions, display ad clickthroughs and even behavior at brick-and-mortar locations.

According to a Monetate report, email has the highest conversion rate of all online sales channels. Brands are therefore still looking to email marketing as a significant source of online revenue.

But email marketers must drive consumers to a website in order to complete a sale. So with 5 billion email offers being sent out daily in the U.S. alone, two-click email technology provider @Pay aims to transform the way consumers receive and buy in emails.

Founded by Killoran in 2011, the company’s technology is far different from just a mobile app. @Pay’s patented technology turns the email itself into a legitimate point of sale, and allows the marketer to instantly complete the sale from directly within the promotion. To purchase an item or pay a bill, a customer simply clicks twice in an email – and done.

“We’ve turned email into a buying channel with @Pay buttons, which can go into an email and transform it into a means of transacting a payment,” said Killoran in his previous interview with PYMNTS.



Email, for one, is mobile. Two of three emails are now read on mobile devices, according to a MovableInk report. But marketers are leaving more and more money on the table by not keeping up with the mobile device habits of their customers. Even as some email marketers are adjusting to the mobile experience, e-commerce sites are still lagging. And even though email readership on mobile devices is increasing, web conversions from mobile devices is decreasing, according to a Yesmail report, “The Responsive Design Effect.”

With @Pay’s simple, innovative technology, the company’s intent is to streamline the buying experience for consumers and merchants. It simplifies the online checkout process, and keeps consumers on their mobile devices and eliminates the need for them to flag an email for future follow up when the time and place is more conducive to shopping.

The simplified process, @Pay expects, will result in a decrease in e-commerce shopping cart abandonment rates, and therefore will boost in merchant conversion rates and sales.



Until @Pay becomes as ubiquitous as PayPal, the 2-click checkout will be viewed as more of a value-add service for brand loyalists who tend to be repeat buyers. These buyers already trust the brand, are comfortable with making repeated card-not-present transactions, and appreciate the added convenience of the streamlined checkout process.

As @Pay gains traction in the industry, it is developing extensions to its services for merchants. The soon-to-be-announced Magento Extension, Version 1, will enable merchants to capture consumer payment and shipping information for future 2-click checkout. The company will also introduce “Pay with @Pay” as a new secure payment option for Magento, integrate with Magento’s inventory management capability, and transmit order details to Magento so that merchants can effectively fulfill orders.




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