We’re back with another edition of our interview series, Get to Know an Ecommerce Insider. Today, we’re featuring a conversation with Noam Inbar, VP of Business Development at Zooz, a payment platform for ecommerce sites and apps. She told us about why she’s passionate about ecommerce, what’s important in online payment, and which sites she loves to shop from. Check it out!
Sasha: What is your background, and how did you come to work in ecommerce? What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?
Noam: I have been working in various Strategy and Business roles for about 10 years now. In the beginning of my career, I worked for traditional offline retail companies, and over time I transitioned to companies with aspirations as digital innovators. In one of my more recent projects, I initiated and led the first ecommerce platform for Orange, the largest Mobile Carrier in Israel. Subsequently, I led the Business development and marketing for PayPal in Israel.
My passion for ecommerce began long before my professional involvement. Growing up in Israel, access to my favorite global brands was quite limited, and global shipping methods were unavailable. Even ten years ago, whenever my parents traveled to the U.S., I began shopping online for hours, and sent an entire suitcase of contents to their hotel. Looking back, I think this experience actually attracted me to the ecommerce industry in the first place. Global ecommerce answers a human need, and despite the international growth of major retail chains, this human need keeps getting stronger. It’s up to us to find better solutions to simplify the answers every day.
At Zooz, I get to deal with this challenge every day, while we strive to enable merchants to optimize their payment process and set a new standard in payments for their consumers.
S: Zooz deals in online payment. What do you predict will be the next big thing in online payment and checkout?
N: For me, payments are a means to an end. The payment process is a necessary experience to complete in order to get the product you want. As such, I think that the payment experience should ideally be so fast and seamless that it’s almost unnoticeable. This concept inspired our development of the “transparent wallet” feature with patented security technology, enabling users to checkout in one click without having to register or enter a username and password. I believe that future advancements will continually involve simplifying that experience and facilitating it on more platforms on the go, such as vending machines, display windows inside train cabins, or even buses.
“The two most important issues in payments are somewhat contradictory. The first one is the fast and seamless consumer experience, and the second one is security.”
S: Which alternative payment methods are big on your radar now? Which are you most excited about?
N: In the U.S. market, I think more and more merchants will start using Dwolla. Dwolla’s consumer experience will eventually be similar to PayPal, but the transaction fees are much lower, so there’s no reason for merchants not to offer Dwolla as an alternative payment method.
To my mind, however, the next alternative payment methods become really crucial when it comes to global markets with low credit card penetration. I am actually in Tokyo as we speak and am really surprised to find out that many of the physical stores, including McDonald’s, don’t accept credit cards! Fortunately that’s not something we have to deal with in the U.S. At Zooz, we are currently exploring very interesting global e-money and cash based alternative payments to meet international payment preferences. The speed of progress in this space requires ecommerce global players to adopt local solutions if they want to stay in the game.
S: What are the most important aspects of a checkout process for merchants to consider? Does this vary for desktop vs. mobile/tablet?
N: The two most important issues in payments are somewhat contradictory. The first one is the fast and seamless consumer experience, and the second one is security. The payment security can never be compromised because beyond its practical importance, it also underlies the consumer trust, which in turn drives the ecommerce sales. The merchant’s goal is to always to keep a healthy balance between consumer ease and security. With today’s technology, I believe that merchants can achieve this balance.
S: On Ecommerce Outtakes, we give suggestions for sites that need improvement, but we also highlight sites that standout for doing something great. I’m curious to know which ecommerce sites are your favorites. Who do you think is doing a good job?
N:That’s a difficult question because there are so many! I’d like to focus on one of my personal favorites, a less familiar site—Minga Berlin, which is a pretty cool website exclusively for socks. I love this site for the nice and clean design, and clearly they are focused on creating a good experience for their users. Yet from a professional standpoint, I think their checkout process should be much quicker. I do appreciate the fact that they offer a variety of payment methods such as Klarna and PayPal, to give their users more choice.
Another website that I like is Diamond Candles, especially thanks to the great Reviews feature. I think that user reviews are extremely important and I rarely buy something without reading the reviews. In this case the reviews are linked with the users social media profiles, which is very helpful in the decision making process.
Noam Inbar is vice president of business development at ZooZ, a global payment platform for e-commerce and mobile, enabling e-tailers to optimize their checkout and boost conversion rates.