Mobile payments gained more traction this week when Walmart announced Walmart Pay, which is being touted as a first by a major retailer. The service will work on any iOS or Android smartphone, and honor any major payment type at any checkout lane through the Walmart app.
The goal with Walmart Pay is to improve customer checkout and dramatically expand mobile payment access.
Walmart said 22 million customers actively use its app each month, which ranks among the top three retail apps in Google Play and Apple’s App Store. Mobile is a winner for Walmart: On Cyber Monday the company said that since Thanksgiving, nearly half of its orders came from a mobile device, making up 70% of traffic to Walmart.com during the period.
This year has seen a significant increase in mobile apps launches or enhancements. For example, Alex and Ani launched its highly visual mobile app, while other brands like Express, Direct Buy, Newegg and others have launched or upgraded their apps.
Will these be among the brands that march behind Walmart with their own mobile payment solution? It certainly seems to be the wave of the future. Look for other retailers, big box and otherwise, to follow suit in 2016.
Here’s a look at other news, commentary and events that shaped the direct-to-customer world this week.
Steiner Tractor has launched its 2016 tractor parts catalog and calendar featuring customer submitted tractor restoration photos …Target combined Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram for its big digital holiday campaign … Macy’s has targeted its Facebook and Instagram ads for the holidays … Snapchat has added a holiday-themed discover channel from Brit & Co.
Restoration Hardware plans to enter into the luxury fashion business … Harry & David has selected SIM Partners’ Velocity Platform to boost retail sales in 2016 by enhancing the mobile search experience … WebLinc and Jirafe have partnered to bring actionable customer data to online customers … India has become the second largest market for global marketplace Alibaba.com … Girl Scouts of America has embraced ecommerce to sell cookies with its Digital Cookie 2.0 initiative … overstockArt.com has released a new version of its iPhone and iPad apps.
Sears has incentivized app downloads with an in-store shipping perk … DSW has launched in-store pickup and ship-to store capabilities by partnering with eBay Enterprise … Chargebacks911 revealed hidden link between same-day delivery, brand loyalty and chargeback fraud … Dollar General is seeking $11.3 million in tax breaks to build a distribution center in Albany, NY, while Under Armour’s new 1 million-square-foot-plus DC outside Nashville, TN – the company’s third – has outstripped Amazon as the largest in the area. FedEx, meanwhile, is planning a 675,000-square-foot DC in Charlotte, NC … Could Dispatch be the delivery bot of the future? Three MIT and UPenn alumni who developed it certainly hope so … In a major ocean freight consolidation move, the Chinese government has approved the megamerger of Cosco and China Shipping, creating a $40 billion behemoth. … December’s U.S. import cargo volume is expected to be unchanged from 2014 as stores bring in the last round of holiday merchandise … Apparently millennials are open to the idea of doing returns and shopping late on Christmas Day. Where does it end?
… And more
Nordstrom is investing $15.5 million in custom shoe startup Shoes of Prey, whose design studios were put in six Nordstrom locations earlier this year. … North Face and Esprit founder Douglas Tompkins died this week after a kayaking accident in the Patagonia region of southern Chile … REI has promoted Craig Rowley to Vice President of Marketing and Jed Paulson as Vice President of Digital Retail … Digital River announced its partnership with Japan-based ecommerce provider NSW … eBags has named Faisal Masud, Executive Vice President of Global Ecommerce for Staples and Scott Henry, Chief Financial Officer of Magic Leap to its advisory board … Sycamore Partners has completed its acquisition of Belk, Inc. … India’s ecommerce market could reach $100 billion by 2020, according to a new report from KPMG. Walmart Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn steps down, as ex-Target Chief Marketing Officer Michael Francis steps in as a consultant.