As PayPal attempts to drive deeper into the physical retail world, it is beginning to experiment with a variety of convenience-oriented features in its mobile application. The industry recognizes the reality that in order to drive adoption of mobile-payment forms, new value levers have to be incorporated into the user experience. In this case, PayPal is test driving two.
The first is the ability for a PayPal user to scan a QR code from a shop window and then select and buy merchandise to be shipped directly to their home. As they describe it:
Participating stores have affixed QR codes to their shop window. With a dedicated De 9 Straatjes mobile app you can scan the QR code, which will automatically direct you to a mobile website where you’ll see the products displayed in the shop windows. You can then select the product of your choice, in your desired color or size, buy it with PayPal, and have it delivered to your home.
This pilot tests the theory consumers will find value in not having to enter the store if they don’t have the time or inclination to shop at the moment they see something they want. One presumes they can somehow store this code to look at it later as well. The counter argument to this is that consumers who don’t have time to shop also don’t have time to stop, launch a program, and scan a code, but that’s why new features are tested.
The second value-add is pre-ordering fast food. Interestingly, the company is testing this in France, perhaps not the intuitive choice as a fast food hotspot, but nonetheless, here’s their pilot construct:
The pilot with McDonald’s across 30 fast food stores in France allows purchasers to pre-order their Big Macs on the McDonald’s mobile app or online, pay with PayPal and then skip the line for pick-up. There’s a dedicated area where you can pick up your pre-ordered food.
Of the two features, being able to order, pay and pick up fast food even faster seems like the most appealing. At the end of the day, PayPal is moving forward with expanding the usability of their mobile payment product in conjunction with retailers who stand to benefit from the potential for an improved customer service experience. More than one large retailer has stated that they don’t intend to implement unique applications to accommodate different mobile payment types and should these tests prove out, PayPal has an even stronger story to take to market.
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