A sampling of e-retailer and vendor announcements from the NRF show floor this week.
The credit card brand launches a marketing push for its Rightcliq online shopping service.
Starting today, Visa Inc. gets serious in its battle with online giants like Google and PayPal for the loyalty of web shoppers.
The world’s leading credit and debit card brand is launching a major marketing push for Rightcliq, the online shopping service it announced in March and has been testing ever since.
Rightcliq provides an electronic wallet where consumers can store their payment card numbers—including those from Visa competitors like MasterCard and American Express. Registered consumers can pay at participating merchants by entering their e-mail address and Rightcliq password. In that respect, Rightcliq is much like PayPal, which is owned by eBay Inc., and Google Inc.’s Google Checkout payment service.
But Visa is adding several other components as it tries to distinguish itself from competing online payment systems. They include:
- Discount offers from participating merchants, some of them retailers that already work with the Visa Incentive Network, a targeted marketing system Visa introduced in 2005. About a third of the top 100 Internet retailers will be making offers at the outset, Visa says.
- The ability to track in one place the delivery status of pending purchases, initially with the U.S. Postal Service, as well as to store online purchase history.
- A browser plug in that will fill in personal and payment information on checkout pages.
- A social component that allows consumers to drag images of products they’re considering from retailers’ web sites into a section of their Rightcliq accounts Visa calls My Wishspace and then to seek advice from their friends on those products via Facebook or e-mail.
“We talked to a number of consumers and we understand that they think e-commerce is a good experience today, but that there are ways to make it better,” says Charlie Wilson, Visa’s e-commerce chief. “Consumers say they want it simpler and easier and more convenient than it is today. We organized around those principles.”
Visa will target two groups of frequent online shoppers: “Young trendsetters” who, according to Visa, want the latest products and like to interact with others while shopping, and “Shopping enthusiasts” who are trendy, fashionable, love to shop and like being in the know. Together, Visa says, these two segments represent 20% of U.S. online shoppers and 26% of online consumer retail spending.
Visa’s marketing campaign will include advertising on retail-related sites that these shoppers frequent, such as DailyCandy.com, Gizmodo.com and WhoWhatWhere.com. There will also be a public relations campaign geared to the publications these consumers read and marketing through social networks, Wilson says.
Rightcliq could potentially benefit online retailers by bringing them new customers through the discount offers they can offer Rightcliq members, says payments consultant Allen Weinberg of Glenbrook Partners. And making checkout easier is also a big plus, he says.
“PayPal, Google Checkout and Bill Me Later have figured out that anything you can do to reduce friction and shopping cart abandonment is a tremendous benefit to merchants,” Weinberg says. “Ease of checkout, particularly reducing the number of keystrokes, is a step in the right direction.” Bill Me Later is a deferred payment service that, like PayPal, is owned by eBay.
The launch of Rightcliq comes shortly after Visa completed its $2 billion acquisition of online fraud prevention and payment gateway provider CyberSource, whose global client base includes 300,000 e-retailers.
“You can imagine over time our ability to marry those two capabilities that are discrete today, the CyberSource service and Visa services like Rightcliq, into a more seamless and increasingly compelling opportunity,” Wilson says. While Wilson did not provide specific examples of how the two could be connected, he suggested that the data available to Visa and CyberSource potentially could be combined to improve risk management and make purchasing and payment easier for consumers.