It’s a brave new world for merchants: using digital currencies that bypass traditional payment systems. Also termed as ‘cryptocurrencies’, these alternatives to cash include a series of numbers that can be traded over the internet for goods and services.
These currencies have suffered a few security setbacks since they came on the horizon; however many retailers who realize the benefits (added convenience, freedom from credit card risks, more payment choices, etc.) outweigh the risks are happy to let customer pay with Bitcoins and other similar cryptocurrencies.
These ostensible benefits are inevitably drawing skeptics in. Venda’s research says that eCommerce service providers looking to increase their engagement of cryptocurrencies can also consider discounts to encourage users to use them, while the security of not having cash and anonymity of payments is a game-changer.
Also, cryptocurrency payment gateways are providing crucial access to merchants to processors and networks and playing a vital role in cross-border transactions. A growing number of online eCommerce brands are accepting Bitcoins because of its increasing popularity among customers, low cost, convenience of use and security in comparison with other common currencies used for facilitating online transactions, such as PayPal and credit cards.
Big-name merchants using cryptocurrencies include….
Overstock announced it sold over $1 million worth of products to users ordering with Bitcoins; that makes more than $18,000 in a day. And the retailer also revealed the average order size for cryptocurrency users was higher by a third compared to normal dollar buyers; $226 vs. $168. And around 50 percent of cryptocurrency customers were new to the retailer.
The CEO of Overstock Patrick Byrne believes that bitcoin is reducing the costs for businesses – large or small – and enabling merchants to pass savings onto customers in the form of reduced prices and discounts. He also considers the digital money helpful for the online payments system, and ‘gold of the virtual payment world’. Also, customers don’t have to keep their savings and wealth in financial institutions they fear could melt down.
1-800 Flowers recently announced that in fall 2014, it will start accepting several major cards, Bitcoin and PayPal for online orders on its website, including Cheryls.com, FannieMay.com, ThePopcornFactory.com and more. The merchant was also one of the first merchants to enable customers to place orders without leaving the brand’s Facebook page.
Founder and CEO of the company Jim McCann noted that as a customer-centric company, the firm is always looking for new ways to enhance shopping experience and engage with customers. Bitcoin together with other payment options offered by the company will conveniently help in delivering smiles to important people.
Bitcoin isn’t only expanding among US-based eCommerce stores; HighKart, an eCommerce merchant from India, is going to become the first in the country to accept the cryptocurrency. And similar to 1-800-Flowers, the company hopes integration of Bitcoins to its payment system will make purchasing easy for customers.
CEO Amit Kumar says Bitcoins has a number of associated benefits, such as no charge backs and no/zero transaction fees.