How does the addition of Apple Pay for e-commerce checkouts affect the average business owner’s mobile wallet strategy?

  1. A lot.
  2. Some.
  3. Not at all.

Pretend like this is a quiz, and think about your answer for a moment – don’t just blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind!

Let’s take a quick look at the implementation (and a couple of other pertinent bits in this equation) of Apple Pay and the impact on mobile wallet marketing strategy.

First – Apple has enabled Apple Pay as a payments mechanism for e-commerce websites.  There are a few caveats:

  • User must have an iPhone 6, 6+, 7, or 7+.  Apple Pay doesn’t work with iPad as a standalone, nor does it work with MacBook or iMac, etc as a standalone.  MacOS Sierra and iOS10 hook the laptop or desktop to the phone in order to process the payments, and users who are browsing on iPhone can simply pay with their iPhone just as if they were buying something using Apple Pay in the store (minus waving the phone over the terminal).
  • User must be running iOS10 on the iPhone, and if there’s a laptop or desktop involved, it must be running MacOS Sierra (which replaces the old OS X naming convention)
  • User must have added at least one payment card to their Apple Wallet in the iPhone.

Most of these caveats are just standard Apple Pay setup, but the updated OS requirements is the biggie for shoppers who want to pay online while using their Macbook or desktop.

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Next, the merchant must opt (via their payments processor) to accept Apple Pay as a payment method on their website.  This is one is as easy as changing two settings in the Stripe admin, one setting in Squarespace or Shopify, and that’s just the first wave.  We fully expect every marketplace and payments processor to enable the payment ability – even if the actual number of payments made with it doesn’t set the world on fire.

This does seem like much ado about not all that much.

On one hand, you’r right if this is your opinion.  BUT…  a few things come into play here, and if Apple Pay only managed to bring in 5% more in sales to the average e-commerce site, that’s money that goes straight to the bottom line.

It would likely come in the form of abandoned carts NOT being abandoned, and we expect the mobile shopping usage directly from iPhone to greatly outpace the iPhone/laptop or desktop combo; that’s just a bit too involved for all but the early adopters right now.

Most people (us included in our straw poll) don’t buy things on our phones because the checkout process is such a PIA.  If you’ve ever tried typing your address into those stupid forms on a mobile phone, or going back to correct a mistake that you made in the card number, UGH, UGH, UGH, UGH.

But we’ve agreed that we would LOVE to buy a plane ticket using our phone, for instance.  And this is a PERFECT example of new technology serving a real use case.

Apple Pay’s tokenization system is MUCH MORE secure than storing my CC # with my preferred airline.

So I hit up United (Southwest, Delta, American, whoever your flavor of choice might be), and I log in on my phone to my account.

That’s all there is to it with this new system.  Apple generates a one time number that allows Apple Pay to purchase my ticket for me, the airline doesn’t get my credit card data to have hacked and sold, logging into my account with the airline is as easy as launching the app itself.   Voila!  We have a process, I’m headed to Vegas for the weekend, and the whole thing took about 2 minutes – maybe less if I used Siri to do the heavy lifting instead of typing anything.

Oh, did we mention that Apple is also allowing publishers in Apple News to charge for subscriptions?  I wonder how people will be paying for those…

Yeah, yeah, nice.  But what does this have to do with mobile wallet marketing strategy?

Right, keep the discussion on track, got it.

The mobile wallet pass, card, or ticket lives in Apple Wallet.  Right next to the credit or debit cards that the user has loaded into the Wallet to pay for things.  Is the light coming on yet?  No?  Alright, we’ll keep going.

Mobile wallet marketing strategy used to be primarily about location and physical businesses;  we expanded our horizons several months ago and started working with podcast producers, online coaches, and other online marketers – we tend to leverage the time or direct messaging to lock screen more than the proximity or location based offers for these accounts, since it’s not very often that a podcaster has a physical location (unless they are promoting a specific advertiser or sponsor in one geographic area).

[LISTEN: How Mobile Affects the Shoppers Journey PODCAST]

If you’re an online marketer, and you’re using Shopify, Squarespace, or Stripe directly, you can now accept Apple Pay in your shopping cart.  We’ve already mentioned this, that’s correct.   OK, here it is in bold letters –

Prospective customers with mobile wallet marketing passes, cards or tickets in their wallets are already using the ecosystem – they get it.  Right now they tend to be under 35 years old as a general group, but the security of Apple Pay is going to draw a lot of older, more affluent users into testing the system.

Apple users as a demographic spend more money, and are more profitable for business owners.  Their Android counterparts are more apt to look for freebies, fail to spend money, and don’t have a valid card on file with anyone, unlike Apple’s system.

How does this help grow my e-commerce business?

When users already have a wallet pass, card or ticket, it’s a no brainer to send them directly to your e-commerce site from the active links on the back, and then offer them a discount or benefit if they are using Apple Pay.

It’s super simple to leverage the back of the pass with direct Call to Action links – including links that go straight to the sales landing page or sales product page, where the user can make their purchase on the same page they were initially sent to by the CTA link.  This cuts down on clicks, improves conversions, and helps to alleviate carts that are abandoned because the checkout process is too slow or too painful.

The chief takeaway:

Mobile wallet marketing strategy now includes direct links to the sales landing or product page where the transaction takes place.  This enables one tap to get to the product and utilizing “pay by thumb” to complete the checkout.