How Clickwrap Can Change Your Online Sales
By: Eric Prugh, co-founder and CPO, PactSafe
When COVID-19 hit, there was a sudden urgency to make processes digital. Seemingly overnight, our economy turned into a digital one. Now, every company is (or should be) mobilizing around e-commerce. The shift to doing business online means a company’s products and services are accessible anytime and anywhere — we are no longer restricted by business hours. With a shift like this, there are, of course, going to be challenges to overcome.
According to research, the shift to digital shopping was accelerated by five years due to the pandemic. As a result, businesses are adapting on the fly and learning along the way. The goal of sales remains the same. Whether it’s in person or online, sales is about building relationships. Creating a digital experience that meets the customer where they are is key to building a relationship in this remote world we live in. A recent survey found that the average American didn’t go through with $61 worth of purchases due to a brand’s website giving them pause. Businesses must adapt their online experiences to create a frictionless sales process.
Aragon Research has long been aware of the challenges of conducting business online. Back in 2014, it identified the digital transaction management (DTM) category that focused on making paper-based document transactions digital. As Aragon has seen businesses shift to conducting more business online, it has identified a new category that extends beyond the capabilities of DTM and is more focused on creating a fully digital approach: Clickwrap transaction platform (CTP).
To understand the CTP market, you must first understand clickwrap. A clickwrap agreement (referred to as just “clickwrap”) is a type of contract used online, often in an e-commerce transaction. It’s similar to an e-signature but rather than signing a document, the signer accepts the agreement by checking a box or clicking a button that says something like “I Agree” or “Accept.” Now applying that to CTPs, a CTP is software that helps businesses create, deliver, manage, track and archive all the online terms and conditions that consumers and businesses agree to with a specified entity.
So how exactly does a CTP help businesses overcome the challenges of conducting business online? Let’s look at a few of the key challenges of online business.
Speed is key
Success with building a digital experience is all about speed. Customers want to be treated as well, if not better, online as they are in person. Therefore, you must be able to offer a speedy checkout. E-signature offerings help take what you were doing on paper and put it online but you need to move beyond that to a digitally native experience that allows for speed, like clickwrap. Contracts don’t have to slow down the sales process. In order to speed up the experience for consumers, you should look to automation, which leads me to my next point.
Manual processes hold you back
The reason speed can be an issue for many businesses is they are still relying on traditional contracting workflows that require manual input from legal teams. Business models that rely on manual processes won’t give you the scalability and speed online business demands. Massive automation is a must for businesses moving forward. Consumers will pay a premium to save time. Automation is the best way to save their time.
Securing online transactions
To avoid disputes with customers on purchases, you must keep accurate records of each transaction. Specifically, you need a record of the terms and conditions or other customer-facing agreements associated with a transaction. Using a CTP can ensure you get the right terms in front of the right person in a legally enforceable manner. These terms can protect your business from things like chargebacks, class action lawsuits, warranties and more. But to ensure you are protected, you must present as much information, as clearly as possible, to the customer. Given the massive spike in online transactions, the old ways of doing this will not be effective. You need a scalable way to secure online transactions without increasing risk, which technology like CTPs can offer.
More and more complex business processes are moving online. In fact, in a recent study by McKinsey, 15 percent of decision-makers said they would be willing to make a purchase of over $1 million remotely or through self-service workflows. Purchasing your groceries online is one thing but making a million dollar purchase is an entirely different thing. The same principle applies — you must simplify the process for the end user. This requires leveraging technology to handle the complex processes behind the scenes, so the user experience can be simplified. Having tools that integrate into your existing tech stack and create a seamless experience are key. When a separate signing process is part of the checkout, you are introducing friction for the buyer that doesn’t have to be there.
Aragon Research projects the market for CTPs will hit $15 billion by 2025. Online business is not going away. Over half of North American buyers said the pandemic permanently changed the way they shop. Now is the time to invest in technologies that will enable you to create digital experiences that customers are demanding.
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