This Week in eCommerce, December 10, 2021

Brittany Blackman
Dec 9, 2021

PayPal Offers Wix Merchants BNPL Options

PayPal has started offering its Buy Now, Pay Later and credit services to merchants who develop their websites through Wix. The initial roll-out was this past November, butthe partnership has advanced

Merchants can now offer PayPal Pay in 4 and PayPal Credit through a dedicated Pay Later checkout button, as well as present Pay in 4 messaging before checkout. If a business is not already connected to PayPal, they need to follow three steps to offer their consumers another way to pay:

  • Go to the Wix dashboard and select "Settings"
  • Click Accept Payments
  • Connect to PayPal and follow the instructions

San Jose-based PayPal has partnered with Tel Aviv-based Wix and its merchants since 2018, but as of Nov, Wix merchants in the U.S. will be the first with access to the tools followed by those in the U.K. and France in "coming months,".

The demand for all-year holiday shopping this year follows a steep rise in eCommerce transactions last year due to the pandemic. According to data from Mastercard, retail spending from last Friday, the Black Friday shopping extravaganza following Thanksgiving, through Sunday jumped 14% over the same period last year.

The competition in the BNPL space is heating up as well – Swedish rival Klarna also teamed with Wix in October to offer BNPL services to those merchants. Not to mention, heavy-hitters outside the U.S., like Klarna, Afterpay and Zip, have also arrived in the country to compete with U.S. BNPL providers such as PayPal and Affirm.

With many businesses looking forward to getting back to “normal” operations this year, PayPal Pay Later solutions provide Wix eCommerce merchants in the U.S. with another way to help utilize this crucial time of year.

Square Rebrands as Block

Square, the financial services company established by ex-CEO Jack Dorsey, has been rebranded and will now operate under the corporate identity of Block.

Founded by Dorsey back in 2009, the company has shown major growth over the last decade. In addition to offering financial services, Block has a majority stake in music streaming platform Tidal, is the parent company for Cash App and owns several companies in the cryptocurrency space.

The company said the name "Square" had become synonymous with it's seller business. The new name would distinguish the corporate side from its businesses.This is akin to Meta Platforms Inc's Facebook rebrand last month.

Square said, "The name has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighborhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome." 

The company also noted that there wouldn't be any major organizational changes and its different business units. Square, Cash App, Tidal and its bitcoin-focused financial services segment TBD54566975 - will continue to maintain their respective brands. Shares were up around 1% in extended trading.

Under Dorsey, Square bought $50 million worth of bitcoin even before the wave of institutional interest that propelled the digital currency's price to record highs this year. In February, it further invested another $170 million in it. Dorsey has frequently expressed an interest in cryptocurrency, so we’ll see where he takes his financial company. 

Toys “R” Us Back from the Dead Part ???

Toys “R” Us has risen from the dead…once again. Whatever entity possessed Michael Myers to return in all of the 300 Halloween installments might have gotten ahold of the doomed toy company. 

The resurrected toy store chain will open a two-level, 20,000-square-foot location at the mega American Dream mall in New Jersey by the end of the year. The news comes just a few months after the company’s current owner, WHP Global, relaunched the Toys “R” Us website in a partnership with Macy’s.

Since filing for bankruptcy in 2018, and its subsequent rebirth, Toys “R” Us has opened a handful of pop-up shops in larger, established stores like Target. They also set their sights more to online channels. The American Dream location is a major step up from this.

The facility is akin to their former Times Square flagship location (which included a life-size Barbie DreamHouse, a 34-foot-tall animatronic T. rex, and a 60-foot-tall indoor Ferris wheel). The new location will feature amenities like a two-story slide, as well as a café and ice cream shop.

Of course, there is some skepticism as the industry watches the news of the company’s new excursion. As Forbes points out, brand recognition might not be enough for Toys “R” Us anymore. “As much as the name still means something, the question remains exactly what. People remembered the Woolworth name or the Montgomery Ward name but that didn’t mean they wanted to shop there. Yes, no specialty operation has come along in the toy space but Amazon, Walmart and Target are fierce competitors who have aggressively moved into this space and are unlikely to back off anytime soon.”

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