PayPal has unveiled the new PayPal Commerce, a shopping platform that enables merchants and partners to embed “Buy” buttons into blogs, social feeds, emails, apps and ads through a set of APIs.
Shortly after splitting from eBay in 2015, the newly independent PayPal acquired commerce startup Modest — a company that basically made it possible for merchants to integrate ecommerce into their emails and apps. The merged companies spent six months in what Harper Reed, Modest’s co-founder, describes as “fun and focused” product development.
Currently in closed beta testing, PayPal Commerce brings Modest’s contextual commerce (aka “Buy” button) technology to PayPal scale.
The way PayPal sees it (and many merchants may agree to this), online purchases are much more likely to occur with the use of an easily accessible Buy button.
Now, with Modest’s contextual commerce technology, PayPal Commerce allows merchants to drag and drop buy buttons into a bevy of consumer touch points including social media, ads and emails. As a result, consumers are given the power to quickly connect with the things they want, at the point of discovery.
“PayPal Commerce is the infrastructure that will enable retailers to deliver open, distributed commerce experiences that only PayPal and Braintree together can deliver,” Reed wrote in a blog post. “It provides services for partners to create a wide variety of contextual commerce experiences, and tools for retailers to reach and engage consumers beyond the boundaries of their Web storefronts.”
The use of Buy buttons has tremendously increased over the last year, with technology providers and merchants eager to experiment with how they can use the technology to increase sales. In spring of 2015, Braintree, PayPal’s payment processing business, inked a partnership with Pinterest to help process payments for the site’s Buyable Pins feature.
PayPal Commerce isn’t the first to market as Braintree’s rival Stripe also offers a similar product called Relay. It has helped high profile retailers and merchants, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Adidas and Best Buy to sell across multiple digital platforms including Twitter.
However, since PayPal already has a large user base — over 179 million users worldwide — PayPal Commerce may soon be the preferred choice for many small business owners.
PayPal hasn’t disclosed any partnership or pricing details for PayPal Commerce, but so far the company seems to be concentrating on building the platform’s user base, stability and performance.