PayPal: customer loyalty of “relational commerce”

Customer acquisition costs are no less costly and consumers now have a universe of choice at their fingertips. It’s time for businesses and consumers to get to know each other better because the methods of triggering the pandemic need to be fine-tuned or defections will spread.

It’s crystal clear David BruceVice President, Global Head, Channel Partnerships at PayPal.

“We see this trend around [a business philosophy] called relational commerce… and it kind of aims to capitalize [on] build better connection points with customers,” he told PYMNTS. “This is not a new phenomenon. It’s about… how you continue to double down on your customer loyalty in what is essentially a new world order.

With customers now over two years into the digital shift, these early and even mid-pandemic digital moves to wow consumers and keep them spending are getting old – bordering on old as time goes on on the Internet – making engagement a true multi-enterprise effort. Saying that a good on-ramp to relational commerce is to partner with trusted brands and scalable networks, Bruce said it takes excitement to partner with other brands.

“Bringing two well-known brands together really…helps solidify [the trust consumers have for] both organizations,” he said.

Not only does it move the needle for operational efficiencies, but customers like it better.

“Instead of dealing with dozens of different third-party vendors, one for each business function, customers want to work with one strategic partner” who offers faster access to on-demand technology and tools, while providing guidance experts around them.

Lily: PayPal combines COVID learning with digital transformation to pursue “commerce 2.0”

Choose it or lose it

Reflecting the study findings, PYMNTS sees from our extensive research into the interconnected elements of consumer loyalty that every digital brand is instantly replaceable. It’s a red alert.

“We have data that shows that if a merchant doesn’t have the consumer’s preferred method of payment, they literally won’t shop with them, let alone pay,” Bruce said.

Calling the choice of payments “a mantra at PayPal,” he said, “it helps to equate a greater likelihood of conversions, both online and in-store. It also brings you back to a deeper connection with your customer, because you enable the services they want to see as part of the ecosystem.

Right next to choice, and perhaps a bit more powerful, is trust. Fail to earn and maintain trust as a merchant or brand and that’s a recipe for higher costs – and bolted customers.

“Trust creates loyalty,” Bruce told PYMNTS. “As a company, we are proud to be part of a certain group of corporate entities, whether in payments or not, that have this trust halo effect.”

But what if you’re not, say, PayPal and haven’t earned or solidified that halo of trust yet?

He returned to choice — a virtuous circle — adding that “it doesn’t have to be just PayPal. In fact, we advocate that you have a range of payment methods so you can respond to differences in how consumers shop. Choice and trust go hand in hand… to ensure consumers have access to what they need.

With choosing payments as the starting point for building trust, he said businesses and channel partners across all categories and verticals are integrating PayPal and Venmo in innovative ways and introducing new forms like the buy-now-pay-later service.

“It happens in a number of different categories,” he said. “You really have to think about the category and the consumers in it and how they buy.”

See also: PayPal, Venmo Now In-Store POS Payment Options

Don’t go it alone

As new payment options loom on the horizon, some real throwbacks have been revived by the pandemic and are now part of an expected payment experience, even if unused.

By examining the phenomenon of the restaurant industry and its adoption of QR codes as “contactless” and “contactless” have entered the everyday lexicon, Bruce sees lessons for others.

“It’s interesting to think that restaurants are probably the best use case for… how to use QR codes successfully. There’s actually a lot of other industries looking at how the restaurant environment is changing. adapts to these types of payment methods and makes some of these decisions,” he said.

Strange to say, there is beauty in the QR code, but there is. “As soon as you tap the QR code, you enter a mobile web feed,” Bruce said. This catapults the transaction into the digital realm, where it can be used to enhance relational commerce at the consumer level.

How it works depends on the link between payment experience and customer experience.

That’s a lot to take in despite more than two years of intense innovation and investment, and few companies can afford to jump into true relationship commerce on their own.

“Our perspective is that we’re in this new world order of being open, collaborative, innovative, and basically making sure that you’re partnering with the whole ecosystem…to enable choice,” a- he declared.

Since PayPal sees no slowdown in digital payments across devices or physical settings, it’s all about choosing the right partners and minimizing friction, even if you’re PayPal.

“One of the fundamental principles is that no one company can do all of this alone. PayPal can’t do all of that,” he said.

“Partnerships across the ecosystem focused on customer success, that’s really where I think the market is moving. You must be open; you must be honest and transparent. This can include competition in certain areas, as well as entry into new areas.



About: PYMNTS’ survey of 2,094 consumers for The Tailored Shopping Experience report, a collaboration with Elastic Path, shows where merchants are succeeding and where they need to up their game to deliver a personalized shopping experience.

Joseph P. Harris