Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

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.”

1 comment. Share your thoughts »

Credits: Rachel Metz, PayPal

Tagged: Business, Business Impact, business

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me