New W3C Merchant Business Group

W3C started working on Web Payments after our Workshop in 2014, and support for Streamlined Checkout is now available in most browsers.  While we have had some merchants interested in this work, they have been telling us they need more than that from the Web.

In response to those conversations and the needs of retailers who are increasing their engagement with customers online during the COVID-19 pandemic, the W3C is forming a new Merchant Business Group (charter) on how emerging Web technologies can address customer experience challenges, and what additional Web capabilities may be necessary to address both merchant and customer needs.  We encourage participation in this discussion forum not only from merchants and their service providers, but also from diverse communities involved in payments, advertising, accessibility, and more.

The Merchant Business Group agenda will depend on the interests of the participants, and is expected to include a wide range of topics such as:

  • Customer interaction: engage customers in new ways via accessible immersive Web experiences.
  • Payments: online checkout experiences, including the value merchants should gain with W3C’s Web payments standards;
  • Accessibility: creating a good customer experience for all;
  • Advertising: the evolution of Web advertising in light of the disappearance of cookies and cross-site tracking;
  • Privacy: emerging regulatory requirements and ensuring good customer experience;
  • Security: good practices for reducing online fraud, and enhancements to transaction integrity and assurance;
  • Mobile: improve mobile Web commerce experiences.

Our initial Chairs will be John O’Brien from FIS and Melanie O’Brien from Coles in Australia.  Nick Telford-Reed has joined the W3C to be the staff contact for this work. With this team we expect to see this group driving activities within W3C and to help the Web reach its Full Potential for Merchants around the globe.

The W3C Merchant Business Group is forming now and will formally launch on 1 October 2020 and we anticipate some informal organizing meetings before the formal launch.  If you’re interested in more information or in joining this group, contact J. Alan Bird, W3C Global Business Development Leader.

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