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A Key to Leveraging the Millennial Mobile Retail Opportunity? Security

There's no way to overstate the importance of the millennial mobile opportunity. But while mobile devices are proving to be an increasingly crucial path to purchase, a lack of sufficient security on mobile retail sites could be coming between businesses and their customers. Research from marketing company Alliance Data shows that 63 percent of millennials use their smartphones for shopping every day.1 That's not particularly surprising behavior for a customer segment born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. As digital natives, millennials are inherently comfortable with mobile technology. They know that mobile devices have the potential to streamline and simplify the shopping process, putting the power to find the right product at the right price in these young consumers' hands.

Despite the growing tendency to enlist the help of a smartphone when making purchasing decisions, millennials are still completing 53 percent of their purchases in physical stores.2 Why? This behavior can be traced in part to concerns about security. A recent study conducted by Osterman Research for account identity verification provider Mitek reveals that 42.2 percent of American millennials limit their mobile transactions due to security concerns.3 Slightly more millennials in the UK (42.4 percent), and considerably more Canadians in that subset (49 percent), do the same.4

With close to half of millennial shoppers in the US actively avoiding mobile purchases in spite of their loyalty to their devices, it's time for merchants to rethink payments. Every aspect of the mobile transaction experience plays a part in converting a consumer into a customer, as well as shaping the shopper's perception of your brand and your ability to satisfy their needs.

For many millennials, though, it's the security of your online checkout that matters most. Taking every possible measure to ensure that their payment data is secure demonstrates a commitment to the security of these key customers, while improving the odds that they'll complete their purchase and potentially return to your mobile site down the line.

This is where Braintree can help. By offering the ability to pay through a service millennials already use and trust like PayPal -- which now has more than 200 million total active users -- along with Apple Pay, Android Pay, Venmo, and major credit and debit cards, you send a message to customers that their payment information is protected. Braintree takes vital steps to help ensure your business meets PCI DSS compliance verification requirements through the use of tokenization, the Braintree Vault, hosted UIs, and more. We also recommend including visual cues that represent a secure checkout -- such as a green lock icon, indicative of a secure connection -- on the checkout page. It may seem like a negligible change, but this icon shows shoppers that their data is actively being defended against cyber attacks and fraud. Similarly, making sure your website is served over secure socket layer (SSL) helps prove to customers that you care about protecting their information.

Over the years, mobile has been steadily revolutionizing the retail environment. The convenience and ease with which this multi-faceted channel allows shoppers to obtain the goods they seek has benefited shoppers and retailers alike. But as long as millennials continue to question the security of the mobile sites they visit or choose to abandon their shopping carts moments before completing a transaction, there is still work to be done.

Many millennials have been quick to embrace the ability to make purchases on their smartphones, and more will follow suit when merchants actively work toward providing a secure mobile checkout. The millennial opportunity that's so vital to mobile retailers? It's just an improved mobile checkout away.

  1. From "Mobile, Savvy, Connected: Millennials Go Shopping,” published July 26, 2016 by Alliance Data, available at https://www.alliancedata.com/mobile-savvy-connected-millennials-go-shopping/

  2. "Mobile, Savvy, Connected"

  3. From “The Millennial Influence: How Their Love of Mobile Shapes Commerce,” published in 2016 by Osterman Research, available at https://www.ostermanresearch.com/

  4. From “Misunderstood Millennials: Have Financial Institutions Got It Wrong?,” published November 2016 by Osterman Research, available at https://www.miteksystems.com/sites/default/files/docs/Misunderstood%20Millennials%20-%20Have%20Financial%20Institutions%20Got%20it%20Wrong.pdf

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