Calling all stores.
EBay Inc. companies eBay Enterprise and PayPal have expanded the customer shopping experience through a new store solutions package aimed at omnichannel and the enhancement of mobile payments through the PayPal app.
The new eBay Enterprise package allows eBay’s retail partners to leverage their physical store inventories to improve margins and shipping costs. EBay Enterprise, the former GSI Commerce business it acquired in 2011, allows customers to route orders placed online for pickup at their choosing, whether delivery to the home or shipping to a store. It also allows eBay’s retail partners to ship from a store versus fulfillment from a distribution center in order to capture the online sale and leverage between a retailer’s online and offline channels.
Leveraging the two channels allows retailers to capture better margins as inventory in stores can be picked to fill online orders, sometimes at full price, instead of those items staying in the store and not selling until there is a markdown, noted Michael Sonier, head of product marketing at eBay Enterprise.
Tobias Hartmann, head of omnichannel operations at eBay Enterprise, said, “With the eBay Enterprise Ship-from-Store solution, retailers can quickly turn their physical retail locations into virtual distribution centers.”
EBay Enterprise said Ship-from-Store is available for 2,756 stores, 30 brands and 22 retailers across 13 countries. Retailers who sign up for the package can be up and running within 99 days. The company also noted that Ship-from-Store has “saved nearly 10 million orders, equating to $640 million that would otherwise be lost sales to out-of-stock situations.”
PayPal has been streamlining its online checkout process, allowing consumers to log onto a merchant’s Web site with PayPal, instead of using a separate username and password.
About a year ago, PayPal had only 18,000 merchant locations accepting it. Last year, through collaborations with Discover and merchant acquiring partners, PayPal is now accepted in 1.9 million merchant locations in the U.S.
A new feature disclosed Monday is the use of a payment code for PayPal app users on their smartphone. The payment code is either a QR code or four-digit short code for use to pay while in-store to speed up the checkout process. Merchant partners who participate in the program determine how long the code is good for, although the typical length of time is one hour.
The feature is already being used at 1,500 locations in the U.K., as well as being used as a payment method in taxis in Canberra, Australia. It will become available in the U.S. in February.
PayPal is also testing PayPal Beacon at select U.S. merchant locations. Using a Bluetooth low-energy device to connect to a customer’s PayPal app when they enter a store, the option allows for automatic check-in while in the store. Once on the network, consumers select what they want to buy using their smartphone, note that payment is through PayPal, and the transaction is completed automatically. Shoppers can automate ordering dishes at a restaurant or obtain personalized service at a specialty fashion retailer. And if a shopper chooses to opt-in for e-mails, they can learn of special offers once inside the retail site.