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How contextural commerce will radically shift online retail

How Contextural Commerce Will Radically Shift Online Retail

Reading time: 4 minutes
Even though 60% of consumer browsing happens on mobile devices, only 15% of online purchases are made on mobile.[1] To blame is the clunky online retail checkout process, designed for desktop and never properly adapted to mobile: When a consumer discovered a product they were interested in within Facebook, Twitter, or other social apps, they’d have to leave the app and hop over to the retailer’s app or mobile site to complete the purchase.
No more. With the recent launches of PayPal Commerce and Stripe Relay, retailers now have the ability to build native mobile buying experiences where consumers first discover their product. Consumers can simply tap a “Buy Now” button, confirm their purchase, and the sale is complete. Here’s what the two big players in this new tech can do for your business.

Stripe Relay

  • What it is: Payment-processing startup Stripe announced Stripe Relay, an application program interface (API) that lets merchants insert a native “Buy” button that connects directly to their company’s retail inventory. This allows users to complete a purchase within the app for the entire transaction.
  • Who they’re working with right now: Stripe Relay has already helped companies such as Warby Parker, Adidas, and Best Buy sell across multiple digital platforms. Built for businesses of all sizes, users can sign up for Stripe and get access to those same platforms. Currently you can sell on Twitter right out of the gate, and you can request access to sell on ShopStyle, Spring, and InMobi. Expect more partners to be added in the future.
  • Learning curve level: Medium. Stripe is essentially a suite of APIs that’s built for developers. You’ll need a back-end developer who can comfortably inject code into your product. Once that’s done, you’re good to go.
  • Price: Relay is available now, and won’t cost extra to merchants who are currently using Stripe’s main payment technology. Stripe’s processing cost is 2.9% + $0.30 per successful charge.[2]
  • Digital wallet integration: Currently Stripe lets you add Apple Pay, Amex Express Checkout, or Android Pay to your checkout flow.

PayPal Commerce

  • What it is: PayPal Commerce integrates buy-button technology to PayPal scale. Just like Stripe, PayPal Commerce lets merchants drag and drop buy buttons into lots of different consumer touch points that include email, blogs, articles, apps, and social media. Consumers can quickly buy the things they want right where they discover them.
  • Who they’re working with right now: We’re not sure yet—PayPal Commerce was announced in February 2016 and is currently in closed beta. We do know that Braintree, PayPal’s recently-acquired processing business, helped power payments for Pinterest’s launch of Buyable Pins.[3] They also worked with Facebook Messenger to help integrate Uber as a transportation service. So expect some interesting Facebook and Pinterest integrations once the service opens to the public.
  • Learning curve level: To be determined (since it’s still in beta). But since this will be geared toward millions of current PayPal merchants, it’s safe to guess that it’ll require a little bit of coding but still be relatively user-friendly.
  • Price: Again, it has yet to be revealed. There’s a good chance that it’ll be a similar pricing plan to Braintree, which (like Stripe) is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction with no hidden costs or signup fees.[4] A slight advantage here: Braintree only charges those transaction fees after your first $50,000 with no hidden costs or signup fees.[5]
  • Digital wallet integration: PayPal, of course. They are asserting themselves in the digital wallet space[6], which could be why PayPal Commerce may end up cutting the same $50,000 deal as Braintree.
Contextual commerce is still in its infancy, but it offers fantastic new possibilities for even the smallest online merchants. Keep an eye out for PayPal Commerce’s public release, and expect to see other startups join the field over the next year. Then determine which one is the best fit for your business.
[2] Stripe, Simple pricing
[4] Braintree, Pricing
[5] Braintree, FAQ

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