Incorporating Mobile Security Across Your Applications & Strategy
There are many aspects to consider when putting an mCommerce strategy together, and most recently, security is topping the list, followed by policies, usability, customer experience, loyalty and content. The challenge lies in knowing where to start and how to incorporate all of these aspects. Viral Shah, Enterprise Mobility architect and strategist at the Kellogg Company recently spoke to Enterprise Mobility Exchange about some of these aspects.
Enterprise Mobility Exchange (EME): Viral, with the shift in the market moving towards digital and online, how can companies manage their mCommerce strategy more effectively?
Viral Shah: The key aspect of creating an mCommerce strategy is to figure out what you're truly expecting from mCommerce. Not all companies are made the same. Some organisations may be simply expecting their consumers to use global as a catalogue or be interested in simply using mobile as a guide to in-store shopping, while other companies may be interested in increasing revenue. Whatever the case, the important thing is to find your focus; make sure that your strategy comes first, and everything else takes second priority.
EME: In a recent survey that we did for the Enterprise Mobility Exchange, it appears that security solutions are going to be a big investment next year for those working with mobility strategies. What challenges lie around security when incorporating this into an enterprise that's looking to move more towards a digital strategy?
V. Shah: Security challenges and requirements aren't new. Yes, mobile is a new channel and mobile commerce is a new application. However, some of the underlying security aspects are obviously going to be the same. The first and foremost are always ongoing clash between security and usability. Smartphones and the mobile evolution have led to tremendous expectations from a usability and user-friendliness standpoint, which has traditionally never worked with security. On one hand, you have to increase security because it's a new platform; on the other hand, you'd have to come up with mobility ways of implementing security without coming in the way of your end user's experience. It's a traditional challenge, and that challenge remains with mobile.
EME: Another recent survey showed that 88% of smartphone shoppers have had a negative experience making a retail transaction on their phones, and that many retailers think mobile isn't working. What advice and suggestions would you give to organisations so that they can have harmonious and positive experience using mobile technology?
V. Shah: The most important thing, when communicating your mobile strategy, whether it's just mobile commerce, mobile shopping, or whatever mobile presence, is to make sure you're focussing on mobile with both its strengths and weaknesses. A lot of mobile initiatives start with that notion that it's a small computer. When the original website was created, it was a desktop experience as it's a sit-down experience. It's not the same for mobile. Not only are the screens smaller, the context is different. Users are mostly on the go, their attention span is smaller and they're very, very focussed. If a customer is buying something from mobile it's not just because they're doing a little bit of shopping, there is something in my mind which they are buying right now. That experience has to be woven in. If you simply go to your website it obviously doesn't work.
EME: Can you share maybe some advice on how to create an omni-channel shopping experience for shoppers so that the online and direct sales are all interlinked?
V. Shah: When looking at an omni-channel experience, what you really want to focus on is, what's your true brand? Make sure that that consistency is there and, at the same time, do not blend in these channels too much. If all channels behave exactly the same, remember only one channel is working right, and all other channels aren't probably using their full potential. The key is to figure out what your brand and digital presence stands for, that's the only part you want to make consistent. Everything else has to be tailor-made for those channels.
EME: In your opinion, Viral, what's the most remarkable thing happening in mCommerce right now?
V. Shah: I think it is around mPayment initiatives across the globe; mCommerce and mPayment go very well together, and the innovative payment solutions are going to put mCommerce in a very different light.
With mPayment type of initiatives mCommerce isn't limited to a micro-browser online shopping, it's now truly getting into the space, which is neither completely online, nor completely in-store, its right in the middle. The second remarkable initiative is the same. A lot of retailers are now realising that they could use this channel; mobile, as something more than a simple remote online experience.
If you look at the new app by Target in US called Cartwheel - apps like this are trying to merge that online mobile and experience in one app, and it makes sense. In the online world you and I never carried our laptops, however sleek and micro-laptop they were, we never carried out laptops in our pockets for stores. We never pulled our laptops out when we were standing in aisles. Smartphones have complete computer capability, but they're always connected. They always have that context. People are pulling their phones out right at the checkout counter and in the aisles. This is the area to focus on. You have one computing device, which is online and in-store; anybody who's focussing on merging those two and creating new experiences is doing it right.
EME: And, finally, what do you think is the most exciting technology that we can look forward to seeing in 2014 in the mCommerce space?
V. Shah: One technology I'm personally looking forward to is Apple's Bluetooth of BLE, and I know Apple has probably already started working on some of the in-store aspects of that. But technologies like that, whether it's NFC or BLE, can truly change how mobile works. And, once again, it truly brings that online and in-store, the real world and virtual world, together. 2014 might be that year, when both NFC and BLE are out there in the hands of developers who are definitely going to figure out innovative ways of using it.
EME: That's great, Viral. We look forward to hearing you speak at the mCommerce Exchange which is taking place in Las Vegas between 1st April and 2nd April in 2014.