TECHNOLOGY

Revolve’s buy-now, pay-later service ‘pops up’ offline

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A fashion retailer wants shoppers who visit its first-ever pop-up shop to have options when paying for merchandise.

Revolve opened the doors to its first pop-up store on Tuesday. To streamline the shopping experience, the fashion retailer is using its digital platform from Afterpay to offer interest-free installment plans for all online and in-store purchases made at the location.

In addition to offering the payment plans, Revolve’s pop-up also features a dedicated checkout line for Afterpay customers, and a 10% discount on all purchases. The pop-up store will remain open through Oct. 28.

Afterpay enables shoppers to receive products from Revolve immediately, and then pay for them in four interest-free installments. Payments don’t require customers to enter into a traditional loan or pay any upfront fees or interest.

The company began offering the service online in July.

“Since July, Afterpay’s payment solution has provided our e-commerce customers the ability to purchase products they would otherwise have had to save up for before purchasing,” said Mike Karanikolas, co-CEO and co-founder of Revolve.

“We’re excited to bring this same functionality to our in-store customers at our New York City pop-up shop,” he added. “We are committed to providing our millions of customers with the best possible shopping experience, both online and in-store, and providing a simple, responsible and rewarding payment option is a critical part of this strategy.”

Other retailers offering the Afterpay service include Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People.

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TECHNOLOGY

Amazon expands Business Prime benefits

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

An online giant is giving its business members even more perks.

Amazon on Tuesday launched a new menu of Amazon Business Prime benefits available to companies of all sizes in the United States, Germany, and Japan. The expansion of benefits will provide business members with more money-saving opportunities.

For example, customers now have access to Spend Visibility, a dashboard that provides advanced visualizations of company spend in ready-to-present graphics. Meanwhile, the Guided Buying service enables account administrators to identify certain suppliers and products as preferred, as well as set specific product categories as restricted. This gives buyers more insight into company policies or recommendations, a move that reduces rogue spending, improves compliance and consolidates suppliers.

Members also now have the option of requesting “Extended Terms for Pay by Invoice,” a service that enables qualifying customers to extend their payment terms to 45 or 60 days to pay an Amazon Business invoice, according to the retailer.

Amazon has also expanded its shipping options for members in the U.S. In addition to offering free two-day shipping more than 100 million items, U.S.-based Business Prime members now can also receive free same-day delivery or free one-day shipping more than one million items on eligible orders over $35 in more than 8,000 cities and towns. They are also eligible for consolidated shipping on some bulk orders, an option that delivers orders in fewer shipments.

The news comes on the heels of Amazon launching a co-branded credit card with American Express aimed at small businesses. The Amazon Business American Express Card — Amazon’s first credit card for the small business segment — has no annual fee, offers greater visibility into each transaction, and provides an enhanced checkout experience on Amazon Business and Amazon.

The cost of Amazon’s Business Prime program is based on the number of users on a business account. A basic membership starts at $179 per year for up to three users. Since the program’s launch two years ago, Amazon Business has served “millions of business customers and hundreds of thousands of business sellers around the world,” the online retailer reported.

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Walmart expands shipping perks to third-party suppliers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

As Walmart gears up for the holidays, it wants its shoppers to get their items fast — and make returns just as easily.

This year, the discount giant is making “millions of items” sold on its marketplace eligible for free two-day shipping on orders over $35. The service, which does not require a membership, will launch in mid-November.

“In the coming months, you will see millions of additional items with the two-day free shipping label as we work with hundreds of our high-performing marketplace sellers to extend the offer to their eligible items,” Scott Hilton, chief revenue officer, Walmart eCommerce U.S., said in a blog on the company’ website.

In addition, the company is making it easier for customers to return this merchandise. Customers have the option to return eligible marketplace merchandise to any of Walmart’s 4,700 stores in the United States. Once merchandise is received at store-level, Walmart will ship the item back to the seller.

Shoppers can also ship merchandise back to sellers directly. Customers can log into their Walmart account, print out a return label and ship the merchandise on their own. In both cases, the customer will receive the refund directly from the seller. Both options are currently rolling out company-wide.

The services will help the discounter compete against the likes of Target, which now offers Target REDcard customers or those who spend more than $35 free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items on target.com. Like Walmart, no membership is required to use the service. Walmart’s online rival Amazon also offers free two-day shipping for its Prime members.

Walmart’s other holiday initiatives include an expanded toy assortment both in stores and online; in-store “toy play dates” that feature specific brands or product roadshows, and digital content from online influencers, among other benefits.

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