Mobile technology companies love baking purchase capabilities into websites and mobile apps, providing myriad choices that make securing merchant buy-in the next big play. But there is a question of whether the rapid growth of in-app purchase may be "too much."
Among those in favor of adding more buy buttons, which enable consumers to quickly complete purchases from within apps that are not traditionally considered shopping apps, there's XpressBuy, which recently integrated with Visa Checkout to build credibility for merchant clients.
"It's extra confidence," said Murali Subbarao, XpressBuy's CEO. "This product is in place with a well-recognized brand and it gives a feeling of security and comfort to complete the purchase."
The integration is designed to remove two major steps for consumers. Visa Checkout allows consumers to store card credentials, enabling repeat payments with just a username and password, and XpressBuy removes the navigation required to complete a payment by asking for minimal information from the shopper.
XpressBuy partners with mobile network operators, enabling access to consumer fulfillment information. XpressBuy recently bolstered its ability to embed payment functions with advertisements through a partnership with PocketMath, a mobile advertising company.
"This is where things are going with people using their mobile devices to shop, so you want to shorten the space between 'discovery' and the payment," Subbarao said. "The tendency is to want to get things quick."
XpressBuy is in a crowded market for improving the mobile and online shopping experience. Stripe has placed buy buttons on social networks, and American Express Checkout, MasterPass, Buy on Google, Amazon and PayPal all offer one-click buy for web purchases. Apple, Google and Samsung also incorporate in-app payments in their mobile wallet offerings. And XpressBuy has competitors such as Zooz, Koupah and Banno that offer in-ad buy buttons.
All of these options compete with the time-honored tradition of keeping a card number on file for repeated e-commerce purchases, wrote Thad Peterson, a senior analyst at Aite Group.
"That's a lot of choices and it makes for a complicated decision process for a merchant," Peterson wrote. "Which buttons do they put on their sites? Should they use all of the buttons, or just one or two?"
When mobile wallets are also enabled for online purchases, merchants need to consider how this may affect the customer's purchase decision and abandonment, Peterson wrote.
Peterson suggests merchants ask consumers for a preferred means of payment as part of registration. "That way the [consumer] would see a limited number of choices at checkout, and since those options would be driven by the [consumer's] own preferences, it's more likely that he or she would use one of the payment alternatives," Peterson wrote.
XpressBuy contends the integration can improve conversion. Visa Checkout shoppers convert to online buyers at a rate of close to 70% and were 22% faster completing the transactions compared to traditional checkout, according to comScore research supplied by XpressBuy.
"The ability to buy 'anywhere' is a big part of contextual commerce," Subbarao said, adding the integration can aid merchant campaigns on social media and other channels. "Anyplace with a URL can be a place to buy."
XpressBuy's fees are based on payment volume. It's setting up a few retailers to pilot the Visa Checkout integration, so Subbarao said it's still too early to see how consumers and retailers will respond to the added shortcuts payment navigation.
XpressBuy is integrated with Demandware, IBM WebSphere Commerce, Magento, Shopify and SAP Hybris, reaching more than 300,000 retailers. Visa Checkout is rapidly adding more countries to its reach, and has more than 250,000 merchants and 330 financial institutions among its participants.