“Mobile purchases are increasingly driving sales, and there’s evidence that this isn’t going to slow anytime soon: by the end of 2015, more than one-quarter of the global population will use smartphones,” says Katie Ochieano, SMB Merchant Marketing at PayPal, citing data from eMarketer.
To further illustrate the magnitude of on-the-go shopping today, Ochieano notes that “at PayPal, we saw $46bn in mobile payment volume in 2014, a 68 percent year-over-year increase.”
And she offers this quick case study of Beautylish, a San Francisco-based online shop for beauty products, to demonstrate the difference that reputable online payment software can make for a beauty merchant: “As their international customer base grew, the company began hearing more demand to add PayPal as a payment option at checkout. After setting up Braintree’s v.zero SDK with PayPal as a payment method, Beautylish’s sales were up 18 percent over their baseline within one month.”
Beauty in context
It’s no secret that today’s cosmetics and personal care consumers trust the recommendations of beauty vloggers, use social media, and research products online while they shop in stores. So it follows that digitally savvy brands are finding ways to sell to those shoppers whenever and where ever they first find a product.
Enter contextual commerce. “Contextual commerce is a trend we expect to pick up among beauty merchants in particular,” Ochieano tells Cosmetics Design.
“It’s a broad term used to describe shopping that can be completed in digital channels outside of merchants’ online shopping sites, for example, via social media. It aims to help connect merchants and consumers in both physical and digital spaces, presenting purchase options at the very moment of discovery,” she explains.
The full extent of what can be done with contextual commerce has yet to be realized. But according to PayPal, “merchants will soon be able to activate a ‘buy-now button’ directly in these experiences, and consumers will be able to make purchases with just a few clicks.”
Online payment companies, such as PayPal, offer their clients a menu of services. “Now, it’s all about making it as easy as possible for customers to shop – anytime, anywhere. Enabling mobile payments and digital wallets is a huge priority for our merchants,” says Ochieano.
The company has a useful perspective on the online personal care industry: “In 2014, 38 million PayPal consumers worldwide shopped in health and beauty, and 15 million of them are in North America.” That’s a “$6bn global spend, with $2bn in North America,” clarifies Ochieano.
When asked which PayPal products are most popular with beauty merchants, she calls attention to Online Payments, PayPal Credit, the app and card reader PayPal Here, PayPal Working Capital, and Braintree’s v.zero SDK, which is “a client-side SDK that enables merchants to accept any payment type in app.”