Discover exec says T-commerce needs deeper merchant integration

by Michael Singer

June 25 2013

Mike Boush says Discover's relationship with Amazon proved fruitful for its tablet app strategy
Mike Boush says Discover's relationship with Amazon proved fruitful for its tablet app strategy

While mobile devices like tablets have helped increase online sales, one credit card executive recommends further solidifying relationships with merchants to ensure a healthy e-commerce future.

SAN FRANCISCO --  Mike Boush, VP of E-Business at Discover Financial Services, says that while figuring out the tablet economy continues to be a work in progress, his company’s tablet app is most used during the evening hours. That’s when customers are likely to be at home watching the television and browsing their favorite online retailers.

“What we see is a lot of tablet use during TV time. And the benefit of that for [Discover] is that you can run purchasing analysis in real time and understand better about buying habits,” Boush said during a keynote at the Mobile Commerce World conference here. He added that improving mobile payments will pay off on the tablet much more than on the desktop and will benefit e-commerce in the long run.

The Discover app, available on both iPad and Android, does differ slightly than its other credit card competitors in that it has a cleaner interface and requires a simple password authentication.

Boush noted that the benefit of simplicity in app design is a fine strategy, “especially if you can get it taken care of before the customer sees it.”

A complementary integration with merchants, however, is even more important, according to Boush as the company found during its partnership with Amazon.

“We learned that with online merchants like Amazon that quick transactions meant an improved shopping experience,” Boush said. The two companies currently offer cash back bonuses and exclusive purchasing deals as part of their integration.

Discover is only one of many players in the growing use of tablets for ecommerce, or T-commerce as it's referred to, with mobile commerce also well-established on smartphones as well. 

By 2017, the total value of global offline transactions facilitated by mobile devices is expected to reach about $1.5 trillion, up from $120 billion in 2012, according to a recent report from BI Intelligence. In the US alone, that value is expected to increase to $244 billion in 2017, from $15 billion last year.

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