Last-mile delivery, third-party marketplaces, voice-recognition shopping, fashion and, now, payments. The battleground between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon continues to expand.Wal-Mart is ready to roll out a credit card with Affirm for online transactions aimed at moderate shoppers — the retail giant's traditional customer base.Affirm is being called a potential game-changer by retail experts, who said it provides a faster and better shopping experience that could help expand the wallets of shoppers, particularly those who can't afford Amazon's Prime membership fees.Amazon is believed to be pushing further into the payments realm by promoting Amazon Pay, the 2007 service it launched for consumers making payments online and mobile payments. If Amazon were to expand payment services, experts said it could follow a strategy similar to Alibaba's launch of Alipay, an independent wallet service.Affirm has an impressive provenance, it's operated by PayPal cofounder Max Levchin.Loans for financing online purchases could have interest rates of around 10 to 30 percent. Wal-Mart said the online application process is easy and that there are no hidden costs or surprises. The retailer claims Affirm will be "more flexible and transparent than any other credit option," adding that consumers will clearly and easily see their total charges when they checkout online.Affirm’s digital financing capabilities, and Wal-Mart's scan-and-go capabilities and synergies with Easy Reorder button, its answer to Amazon's Dash, are seen as the most powerful aspects of the partnership.With the loans targeting more expensive products or purchases more than $200, experts wondered whether Wal-Mart would be placing too great a financial burden on consumers with poor or low credit ratings. The retailer has been moving in an upscale direction with its third-party online marketplace, where gowns list in the mid-four figures. Affirm users would probably not be able to afford products on the marketplace.
Amazon in July introduced Amazon Pay Places as a way for shoppers in physical stores to pay using Amazon's app. Amazon Pay Places frees shoppers from having to use cash or credit cards and is similar to Google Wallet, which has the digitally stored card data liked to a smart phone.
Amazon and Wal-Mart have battled fiercely through the summer, announcing deals and initiatives almost tit-for-tat. The world's largest retailer and world's biggest online and digital retailer made major announcements on July 16. Amazon said it was acquiring Whole Foods, and Wal-Mart confirmed that it was buying Bonobos through Jet.com, Wal-Mart's $3.3 billion acquisition.Jet.com founder Marc Lore, who is president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart U.S. e-commerce, picked up a string of native online specialty sites, including Modcloth and Shoebuy, and has been pushing technology innovation with Store No. 8 an incubator. Wal-Mart last month said it hooked-up with Google to launch voice-activated shopping via Google Home and Google Express to compete with Amazon's Echo and Alexa.Now the battle's moved to payment services, and it should come as no surprise, considering that payment services breed consumer loyalty.
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)