Mobile commerce is now almost universally recognised as the future of business-to-consumer interactions. We know that almost three quarters of Australians are now making mobile payments (72%)[1]. This uptake is a clear opportunity for businesses to consider how they are engaging with their customers at the checkout – and importantly, if their checkout experience is mobile-centric.
While retail was the first frontier for online and mobile commerce, the doors are wide open to all industries. Even those that are intrinsically brick-and-mortar experiences, for example fuel.
Filling up your car with fuel is inherently physical. There is no way to get around going to the pump and filling up, so the opportunity for a frictionless mobile commerce experience may not be obvious to the everyday punter. BP, recognising changing consumer needs and desires, and the blurring between commerce channels, needed a convenient, simple and secure mobile offering to bring them closer to their customers.
Together with PayPal, BP developed the BPme app, which allows users to preselect the pump they are going to use, then fill up their car, and confirm the payment securely on their mobile through an in-app PayPal integration. The physical experience of filling up your car remains, while the integration of mobile commerce streamlines the payment experience.
The BP and PayPal integration has enabled BP to provide a more convenient, efficient customer experience. The faster process will reduce queue times at the pump, a benefit for all BP customers even those who may not use the app. By enabling customers to pay for their fuel from their mobiles, BPme saves time for rushed commuters and even makes filling up with fuel less stressful for parents with small children in the car. In addition, by reducing checkout times and queues, BP petrol stations are drawing in new customers by offering a quicker, more efficient experience. It’s a win-win, and a clear example of how mobile commerce innovation is enhancing industries outside of retail.
Beyond faster payments, the transition to mobile, and the troves of customer data that enterprises will subsequently have access to, will enable new, innovative services which add tremendous customer value and bolster brand loyalty. For example, a petrol retailer’s app could be used to display up-to-the-minute pricing, time or location-based offers, pump closure notices, traffic and weather information, and double as a loyalty card.
PayPal is working with disruptive merchants like BP around the world, including here in Australia, on the rollout of innovative mobile solutions. As businesses from all industries consider how to better engage customers – they need to evaluate where they are. I’ll bet my digital dollar, they’re on mobile.