Both social networks today announced new tools that let e-retailers drive sales directly from their platforms.
Wal-Mart will let consumers purchase online and pay in stores.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. today announced a new “Cash” payment option that offers Walmart.com shoppers without credit or debit cards a new way to buy online.
“Many of our customers shop paycheck to paycheck and are looking for more ways to purchase items online but don't have the means to a credit, debit or prepaid card," says Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart.com, U.S.
A consumer who elects to pay with cash can select “Cash” as his payment option during the checkout process. Then he prints out an order confirmation page, which he then has to bring to a Wal-Mart store within 48 hours. After the consumer makes the cash payment, Wal-Mart processes the online order.
Wal-Mart, No. 6 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says the move is a response to consumer demand for a cash or cash-equivalent payment option. The retailer says that a recent survey of its shoppers found that more than 67% of those who identified as "underbanked" were likely to use cash as a form of online payment if the option were available. That mirrors how consumers pay in Wal-Mart’s physical stores, where many shoppers pay in cash and only about 15% of purchases are made using a credit card, says Wal-Mart.
Quoting the Federal Deposit Insurance Company, Wal-Mart says one in four U.S. households fall into the categories of “unbanked” and “underbanked,” in that they don't have bank accounts or credit cards or have limited banking options, and often pay with cash. However, many of them are online, with 81 percent of the unbanked and 63 percent of the underbanked having Internet access, Wal-Mart says.
In addition to the cash option, consumers on Walmart.com can pay using credit and debit cards, PayPal and BillMeLater.
Anderson is a featured speaker at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition 2012. He will speak in a session entitled “Creating innovation through the next generation of retail” on June 6 from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.