Retail Customer Experience: Paypal’s NYC Pop-Up Store Could be a Smart Strategy
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Customer Experience, a daily news portal devoted to helping retailers differentiate the shopping experience.
PayPal recently confirmed reports that it will open a pop-up store at 174 Hudson Street in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The store is intended to showcase PayPal’s new in-store payment products so merchants can see them in a more realistic setting.
In a post on its corporate blog, PayPal’s senior director of emerging opportunities Carey Kolaja explained that consumers have changed the way they shop and that retailers must change too.
"But while so much of current thinking is focused just on the future of ‘checkout,’ here at PayPal we’re creating a better shopping experience, from start to finish, no matter what’s being bought, where it’s being sold, or how it’s being paid for," Ms. Kolaja said.
The pop-up store builds on the "sneak peaks" PayPal gave of its mobile and offline strategies last month, Ms. Kolaja explained. The outlet will be about expanding on that vision and showing merchants and select members of the media PayPal’s "complete set of solutions" that include a mobile digital wallet and point of sale solution.
For retail consultant Mike Wittenstein, the pop-up location is a good idea, one that will give PayPal a chance to explain how they actually plan to connect their online expertise to the offline retail world.
Since PayPal hasn’t been viewed as an offline payment option, introducing it to merchants in a setting where they can get a feel for the new products, and see how to make it easy to introduce the products to their customers, is a big opportunity for PayPal.
"Bringing [PayPal] out in the open is important if it shows they can be added seamlessly, smoothly and quickly," Mr. Wittenstein said. He added that merchants will eventually have to be able to describe a product they’ve only just started using to consumers, who also don’t know PayPal in a retail setting.
Mr. Wittenstein explained that a pop-up location for PayPal will help to reduce merchants’ fear of a new payment method, improve usability and let merchants see where the benefit is for them. He added that the success of PayPal in the offline world could have bigger implications for payments in general.
"PayPal is the first electronic payment method that can be adopted," Mr. Wittenstein said, explaining that as opposed to credit or debit cards, which are provided to consumers through issuers, the decision to participate in PayPal is up to consumers to opt-in.
"Keeping up with technology is hard, not just for retailers, but also for the range of customers that they serve," wrote Ms. Kolaja. "So, without mandating any technology upgrades or favoring one solution over another, we’re making the connection between merchants and consumers more convenient, more personal and more relevant."
Discussion Questions: What will encourage more retailers to experiment with alternative payment methods such as PayPal’s? Do you think PayPal will be successful in transforming brick & mortar payment methods?