Taking a page from the likes of Visa, MasterCard and others that have an electronic wallet in some stage of development or implementation, ShopRunner is using the concept as the cornerstone of a new aggressive expansion plan.
The shipping and online marketplace site has announced that it will roll out its own version of the e-wallet sometime this month. The company will also soon begin offering consumers the option to sign up for its shipping package on a monthly basis, a move believed by some to be a precursor to an eventual premium service offering next-or same-day shipping that could give ShopRunner an edge over its biggest rival, Amazon Prime.
As with the other digital wallet offerings out there, ShopRunner’s is quite simply designed to make things easier on the consumer.
“A member shouldn’t have to go through multiple steps to complete a checkout process,” says ShopRunner president Mike Golden, who promised that the new tool would debut with a single, unnamed retailer later in July.
The e-wallet uses software developed by ShopRunner to store shoppers’ payment card information, shipping details and billing address to speed up the process of payment transactions. The feature will initially be offered to retailers free of charge, but Golden says ShopRunner may add fees to the e-wallet feature eventually if sales and conversion rates increase as a result of it.
ShopRunner currently has about 44 retailers offering its services—centered around a program of free two-day shipping on all online orders for $79 annually—and expects that total double by the end of the year. The company also runs a marketplace-style offering featuring retailers like Lord & Taylor and Toys R Us.
Also coming soon will be the monthly alternative to the $79 annual fee for ShopRunner’s discounted shipping service. By late July or early August, shoppers will be able to choose to sign up for the service on a monthly basis for a fee of $8.95 a month.
“This is a risk for us because some consumers would only use us for the holiday season, but we think that once consumers use our service a couple of times they love it and don’t quit,” Golden says.
While a premium service that would ensure even faster delivery of orders for a higher annual fee is still in the works, ShopRunner will also be launching an iPhone application in the coming weeks that will allow shoppers to scan bar codes in stores and find out if the product is available through the company’s standard two-day shipping program.
Have any thoughts or comments on the expansion efforts over at ShopRunner? Leave us one below!