Stripe just announced the launch of Relay, a new tool to help e-commerce stores sell more via mobile devices.
From their announcement:
Today, mobile e-commerce websites aren’t working: Ten-step shopping carts, mandatory account signup, slow page loads. When we get linked to a shopping cart on our phone, we usually just give up. That shouldn’t be surprising—most mobile shopping sites are fundamentally the same as the desktop sites that preceded them, despite the medium calling for something completely different.
Stripe Relay is looking to fill this need by making it easier to sell e-commerce to mobile users.
We’re launching Relay, an API for stores to publish their products, and for apps to read them. Relay makes it easier for developers to build great mobile e-commerce experiences, and for stores to participate in them.
It’s powered by a few new objects in the Stripe API: Products, SKUs (product variants), and Orders. Stores can provide product information to Stripe via the dashboard, the API, or by linking their existing e-commerce systems.
In a nutshell, the Relay integration works like this:
You can see a sample Stripe Relay integration in action via this Warby Parker tweet on Twitter
The user is presented with a BUY button in place within the Tweet:
When you click the BUY button, you are presented with a modal pop-up that allows you to choose your options (e.g. - Mens, Womens) and see more details such as description, shipping and return info:
You can even enter your credit card information on the next screen without ever leaving Twitter:
According to the Stripe Relay announcement:
Despite mobile devices representing 60% of browsing traffic for shopping sites, they only make up 15% of purchases.
This is a pretty compelling reason to consider another approach to capture mobile transactions. Is Stripe Relay the answer to this? Only time will tell.
Here are a few possible downsides to using something like Stripe Relay to process transactions for your e-commerce store:
Here are a few other players in this space that may be worth a look:
Also, there have been a slew of recent announcements by other big players in this space:
Stripe Relay may allow you to expand your reach via third-party developers and platforms, as well as provide a more natural, battle-tested way to capture e-commerce transactions.
There is a lot of movement happening in this space so for some merchants, it may make sense to wait and see where the dust settles.
However, where there is change there may be opportunity to capture some sales by being an early adopter within a new medium.