First, we stopped at the mock hardware store, DIY Tools, where Schoonmaker described a consumer who wants to buy a grill but isn’t quite ready to make the leap, so he puts it on a wish list within his PayPal smart-phone app. Walking by the store, the consumer would receive an alert on his phone from DIY Tools—a store he has authorized to send him ads—offering him $75 off on grills. “We know he’s got a grill on his wish list, so we can say, ‘Oh, this actually matters to you,’” said Schoonmaker. The consumer could then add the coupon to his phone’s digital wallet, and $75 would be automatically deducted from his total when he bought a grill from the store.
Schoonmaker then led me to Hudson + Vestry, PayPal’s fictional boutique. Imagine, Schoonmaker said, that the store was closed when a fictional shopper, Karen, came by to check out some boots in the window display. No matter—Schoonmaker showed me how Karen, a member of the store’s loyalty club, could scan a QR code on the ‘s window and receive an offer for $1,500 in credit that she could use to make purchases later that day (this overture would come from Bill Me Later, which is a short-term credit service PayPal owns). Karen could even use a Hudson + Vestry-branded page inside the PayPal app to view the boots in the desired size and color and to put a pair on hold.
The merchant would see Karen’s request and could respond by slyly placing a matching leather jacket near the boots in the store. That way, Schoonmaker said, “when Karen comes back in, as a store owner, I’m ready to go.”