Retailers Increasingly Team Up With Mobile Payments Providers

November 16, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

A surprisingly large number of us have already started our Christmas shopping, and Black Friday is still about a week out. Retailers, meanwhile, have learned the value of offering new alternative to shoppers, and are ramping up online and mobile operations all over. In fact, for many, reports note, the answer to bringing the new options to customers is coming mostly from partnership efforts.

The lists of such efforts are fairly substantial; Etsy, for example, recently partnered with Square to help bring in new payment options and keep people on site. Given that its active buyer count went up 17 percent, reaching a total of 37 million worldwide in just the last quarter, it’s clear that such tools are working. Better yet, Etsy’s active seller count hit two million, a gain of eight percent.

That’s just for starters; Klarna and H&M got together, as did Shopify and Venmo. SeatGeek turned to Apple Pay to add range to its Snap integration. Plenty more examples follow from there.

What’s behind the push? The growing numbers of online shoppers. Word from eMarketer says that ecommerce will be responsible for 12.3 percent of sales this holiday season, and an objective 79 percent of adults in the US are shopping online. That’s a big potential pot of market, and when you consider that the average consumer is poised to drop about a grand this holiday season, it’s millions in the pocket for businesses sufficiently on the ball to meet demand.

The numbers involved are substantial, and that’s going to be enough to get most any company interested in doing “whatever it takes” to pursue a slice of this market. Moreover, retailers face a higher level of competition than a lot of businesses do, since there are so many places often selling similar if not identical goods. Since price is a poor discriminating feature, businesses have to improve their customer experience, and mobile payments is an excellent way to do that.

We’ve seen what’s at stake here, and with word that this holiday shopping season could be a bell-ringer, businesses are ramping up accordingly. Seeing the numbers for this season should be impressive by any standard, and will give us all a new reason to believe in mobile payments.