Imagine a world in the future where you’re waiting for mass transit on your way to work. In front of you is a large supermarket billboard, the products on its virtual shelves have bar codes and prices under each product image. You fill your virtual shopping cart by photographing the bar codes with a mobile app on your smart phone or tablet and after you’re finished “shopping,” you simply hit pay. The selections you chose are charged to a card account on your phone, the items are ordered and scheduled for delivery and, when the train show up, it’s off to work you go – knowing that when you arrive home from work tonight your groceries will be at your door.
This is our second part of the three part series on Universal Commerce. In our Part I we discussed what Universal Commerce is and why it’s quickly becoming a necessity for small businesses and retailers. In this segment, we will discuss the virtual wallet, and apps like Google wallet, which are an essential part of the Universal Commerce system.
Tesco, the 2nd largest grocery chain in South Korea, realized the only way to beat the number one grocer E-Mart was through technology. Building more stores to increase your market share is over. It costs too much and takes too much time.
Tesco is now a close second in overall grocery sales, increased their overall market share and is South Korea’s number one online grocery retailer. This is just part of the whole new universe of Universal Commerce.
Our society has moved from cash to credit cards to Universal Commerce. You no longer carry your money in a wallet, but you use your smart phone as your virtual wallet. Google became the first global company to create a virtual wallet app with their “Google Wallet.”
As an open application, Google Wallet is able to support a variety of payment methods, including Citi Mastercard and debit accounts. Google is currently making deals with Visa, Mastercard and others to join their Universal Commerce network, but this is just the start of the revolution. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile & Visa, understanding that the virtual wallet will be a necessity as this trend moves forward, have joined forces to create their own virtual wallet network called “Isis.”
The Universal Commerce revolution is leaving financial institutions and bank-branded credit cards out in the cold. If your credit info is accessible via Cloud Computing to your smart phone’s virtual wallet app, who needs real credit cards?
- Over 70% trusted their own bank.
- Over 50% trusted their credit card company.
- Close to 40% trusted their mobile phone company.
- 30% trusted Amazon.
- Over 20% trusted Google.
- About 5% trusted Facebook.
The world of Universal Commerce will not be a world where one company will be able to dominate. The Universal Commerce network will cost too much money for one company to build, yet it can’t afford to exclude anyone. Universal Commerce will have to be open to work on a variety of platforms, but still must remain secure, as every cyber crook in the universe will try to find a way to break in. This will be the challenge for those joining the Revolution, but one I’m sure they will successfully overcome.
For more information on Universal Commerce, download a free copy of First Data’s excellent report “Universal Commerce: A Seamless, Personalized Purchase Experience For Today’s Connected Consumer.”
Stay tuned for Part III of our series where we will cover what Small Businesses and Retailers will need to do to get on the Universal Commerce wave so they can ride it to greater sales and success.