Every month, Vantiv and PYMNTS.com team up to deliver the latest news in developer spaces. Here’s the overview of the Developer Tracker published in May 2017.
Creating a seamless environment for online commerce requires the harmony of many different factors. Consumers must be able to navigate a company’s website easily, add items to their shopping carts effortlessly, and complete payment without friction. With so much margin for error and so many abandoned shopping carts, winning the eCommerce race can be tough.
May’s Developer TrackerTM features an interview with Deck Commerce, a company that’s focused on making the online checkout race a bit more winnable. Deck Commerce partners with global fitness and athletics brands like New Balance, Rawlings, Warrior and others, developing omnichannel software and solutions to keep these companies ahead of their competition.
In the interview with Deck Commerce’s Founder, Chris Deck, Deck provides his insight into many of the opportunities and challenges facing omnichannel merchants today. In particular, he says that the key to winning omnichannel is turning the problems that plague many brands into the very tools that help them grow.
Before Deck and his colleagues became a software team, they were consultants, helping athletics brands and retailers design omnichannel commerce strategies. During their time as consultants, they realized that many of these retailers and merchants struggled with three common issues: collecting usable data from their legacy back-end systems, managing and leveraging inventory and, finally, managing orders and delivery. The company saw an opportunity to use their knowledge and experience to provide a better solution, so Deck and his team decided to develop their own software. Deck Commerce morphed from a team of consultants to a development group in 2015.
To develop personalized solutions increasingly demanded by eCommerce shoppers – for instance customized recommendations and offers— brands need data about their customers and their online habits. Deck says that Deck Commerce software helps brands collect that data by giving them tools to analyze sales in an existing POS solution, delivering information on what items customers are most likely to buy.
“So, the first thing we built were the tools to help merchandisers expand their data, have it ready for easy digital consumption in forms they could understand, and then push that data out across the whole enterprise,” he says.
The solution also works to change how brands sort and store their inventory. “Ten years ago, businesses were often creating individual warehouses or allocating inventory that was specifically separated for online selling only,” Deck explains.
Rather than keeping inventory in an online-specific warehouse awaiting shipment, Deck Commerce works to build inventory management solutions that enable brands and retailers to store a large variety of items in local warehouses around the country, managing each item via an online dashboard. This helps these companies speed up delivery times to compete with Amazon and other popular eCommerce warehouses known for speedy delivery.
“You really want to try to leverage your inventory across all your distribution centers, and now, with buy-online-pickup-in-store, even your retail stores,” he says. “So you need an enterprise view of your inventory, spread out across multiple warehouses, so you can know what marketing to push out and where the inventory is to support that.”
Deck also emphasizes the importance of managing multiple streams of orders for brands. With the development of online sales and an increase in big-box stores, many brands are selling their products through more channels than ever before. And, to solve for potential logistics headaches for brands, Deck said the company’s software enables merchants to manage shipping, customer service, payments acceptance and other tasks via one portal, so that brands can easily monitor and manage orders as they are filled.
“When you’re successful and engaging with customers, you’re getting lots of orders,” he says. “But when lots of orders are coming in, it’s critical to know how to most effectively process that order, whether from an allocation perspective, who is going to ship it and where, servicing customers, settling payments, all of that.”
The end result is software and expertise that helps even established brands like New Balance improve eCommerce sales and grow their business. The company, known for its running shoes and other fitness gear, recently announced it would be expanding its eCommerce business to meet increased demand for orders through the New Balance online store.
- Are mobile apps becoming less safe?
Some developers may be motivated by an increasing consumer desire for mobile payments, but many are wary of the security of mobile devices and applications in general. Mandeep Khera, chief marketing officer for security technology company Arxan, recently commented on the state of mobile security, saying the risk of app security is growing. To guard against threats to mobile devices, Khera called on financial institutions, retailers and regulators to put more stringent security protocols into place and to stop the “rush-to-release” mentality that can bring products to market before they are fully secured. He also advised consumers to actively ask about companies’ security protocols.
- Biometric-secured mobile payments projected for big growth this year
With so many consumers concerned about the security of mobile payments, it’s no surprise that some analysts are expecting biometric security to create gargantuan growth. Mobile payments using biometrics to authenticate users are forecasted to reach close to $2 billion in 2017, up from $600 million last year, according to new data from Juniper Research. The adoption of biometric payments is being helped by the growth of Apple Pay and other mobile wallets, and the increased availability of fingerprint sensors on smartphones and tablets. The report found that around 60 percent of smartphones are expected to launch with fingerprint sensors this year.
- Vantiv pays for Paymetric
While some partnered to improve software, Vantiv went the acquisition route. The company inked a deal to acquire Paymetric, a portfolio company of Francisco Partners. In a press release, Vantiv said Paymetric automates B2B payments workflows within enterprise systems, including SAP, Oracle, Hybris and Salesforce. Paymetric also tokenizes payments data, enabling secure storage of customer information and history.