PayPal has today launched an online store selling gift cards, the latest in its digital evolution. Consumers can by digital gift cards from a range including eBay, JB Hi-Fi, Rebel, The Iconic, Uber, Woolworths and Ticketmaster. The site also offers special deals, such as 15 percent off Catch gift cards today, 15 percent off The Iconic on Wednesday, 10 percent off Uber on Thursday and 10 percent off Rebel Sport on Friday.
PayPal first launched to Australia in 2005, totally disrupting the payments market. Yet, the disruptor has since been disrupted with new entrants such as Afterpay gaining popularity and completely changing the way consumers shop online.
This latest foray into retail ahead of the holiday season may be a sign of things to come, with PayPal forced to consider other verticals in order to retain its position as a market leader. Australians reportedly spend over $2.5 billion on gift cards each year for family and friends with 90 percent of Aussies either giving or receiving gift cards.
While Aussies are comfortable with the online space, gift cards is an area which seems to be ripe for digital disruption. Research by PayPal found that more than a third (34 percent) of Australians have purchased a plastic gift card because there wasn’t an equivalent digital option available and that 63 percent of Australians would prefer to receive a digital gift card over a plastic gift card because it is more convenient. Additionally, almost half (47 percent) of Australians would prefer to receive a digital gift card over a plastic gift card because they would be less likely to lose it.
“More and more, services are being digitised to create convenient and enjoyable customer experiences,” says Emily Curlewis, PayPal Australia’s Resident Shopping Expert. “PayPal has worked with our retail partners, some of the biggest in Australia, to transform one of the last physical elements of the shopping experience into a digital one. Over the last 15 years PayPal has played a huge role in the development and facilitation of e-commerce and, m-commerce, so the launch of a digital gift cards store is a natural evolution for PayPal,” she explains.
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