Lacoste to roll out Alipay across 16 US locations to woo Chinese spending
Through a new association between Alipay and Verifone, 16 Lacoste stores in the U.S. will now accept Alipay in an effort to create a seamless customer experience for its Chinese buyers.
"Through Alipay, Lacoste stores will reduce payment and language barriers these travelers encounter at the register and ensure they have the most positive in-store experience during their visit,” said Souheil Badran, President, Alipay Americas in a company press release.
Alipay and WeChat Pay are the leading third-party online payment solutions in China. Alipay, backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has over 520 million active users. Together, these platforms account for 90% of China’s mobile payment market share.
Nearly half of China’s smartphone users are expected to make payments on these apps by 2020, according to market research company eMarketer estimates, making the country an increasingly cashless economy.
Adding these payment options to retail point of sale allows U.S. retailers to tap into Chinese consumers who are the largest spending and fastest growing traveler segment to North America.
According to a 2017 report from the US Commerce Department, 2.97 million Chinese tourists traveled to the U.S. in 2016, spending a total of $33 billion. The report put China on top of the visitor spending pile. This creates a huge opportunity for Alipay to extend its platform to various industries and serve the substantial Chinese tourist market.
"Chinese consumers love to shop when traveling to the U.S. and Canada, but payment barriers often complicate the process for many North American retailers," said Badran.
Department stores like Macy’s, Saks, Bloomingdale’s have collaborated with Alipay for their e-commerce businesses for some years now, leveraging the Alipay ePass system to help reach online shoppers in China. However, the offering of Alipay at brick-and-mortar point of sale in the U.S. is more recent.
Last May, Ant Financial, the Alibaba spin-off that operates Alipay, signed a partnership with payment processor firm First Data that allowed its service to be used at point-of-sale with more than four million retail partners in the U.S. The deal was the first of its kind for Alipay in the U.S.
In September, coinciding with the start of New York Fashion Week, Alipay announced that it had partnered with luxury fashion retailer Rebecca Minkoff, enabling Chinese shoppers to use their Alipay Mobile Wallet to make purchases at any Rebecca Minkoff store in the U.S.
DFS Group, a luxury travel retailer, has also launched Alipay in its airport stores in Honolulu, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and at JFK in New York City.
More than 120,000 North American merchants are estimated to currently be Alipay-enabled.
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