Product and store discovery is a process that we all go through when we go shopping. From basic items to favorite purchases – there are a series of steps to decide what to buy and where to buy it. There are times when we know exactly what we want, and there are times when we may not know where to start or what options are available.
Consider the process somebody will go through before they take their phone out of their pocket or purse, to make a purchase. First, they need to decide what to buy and where to buy it – this can involve one or all of the following – reading blogs, checking EC sites, browsing other stores, watching a video, reading a magazine or perusing a shop display. Even in difficult times, shopping can be a fun thing for people to do,and taking time to find the right product or engage with a favorite brand, is a key part of that fun.
At PayPay, we believe that in addition to making the payment experience dramatically better, we can also play a positive role in the product and store discovery process. Whether somebody is looking for a new offer from a major retailer or convenient cafe for a quick coffee, we are building out a set of features in PayPay to reach people at the right time, and in the right way.
So what do these features look like in our app? We now serve approx. 30m users, all with their own needs, desires and motivations, so to better respond to that variety of users and their needs we present a variety of information at different stages of the purchase process. Information such as pricing, reviews, product images, coupons, style guides, product articles and more.
Last year, we introduced a new PayPay maps section that made it easier to search for businesses based on their categories, name or location. Opening a business listed on the PayPay map opened up a store or brand page which provided crucial information such as business hours, address and telephone number. In addition, we also added the offer feed, a stream of notifications and coupons created directly by business owners.
Everybody’s feed will be a bit different, but we have designed the feed to be a great way to discover new places to shop or dine, find a new favorite salon or simply take advantage of an attractive special offer that you would not otherwise have known about. Of course, there are plenty of times when you want to see what is happening in major retailers as well, and many major brands are also using the PayPay offer feed to post their updates. To ensure you never miss a future coupon, you can follow the stores and brands you prefer and their content will always be surfaced to the top of your feed.
In the future, we will be looking to integrate the offer feed more closely with our payment services to create one seamless experience of discovery and purchase. It’s still early days, but we believe there is a lot of potential to further enhance the whole shopping experience.
Beyond the technical tools however, we are also focusing on adding high-quality editorial content into the PayPay app as a great way to showcase new trends, exciting brands and the variety of shops and businesses that exist all over Japan.
One of the things that we unveiled recently is the PayPay recommended articles – a newsfeed of articles and lists that recommend new shops, products and trends across different categories of businesses.
When someone is ready to buy, they can follow links to find the nearest relevant store on the PayPay map, and as our mini-app platform increases, it will also allow for them to move directly into PayPay mall or PayPay flea market and make online purchases as well.
Articles are created based on both the art and science of retail. Using both the hard information provided by our transaction and search data as well as the soft data of writers who are connected to the latest trends in key areas of our life, like fashion and lifestyle. In the future, we intend for them to become a personalized homepage and a major way for PayPay users to enjoy connecting with the trends, products, brands and services that they are most interested in.
If you`re a retailer then it is a great way for you to be featured to active shoppers, right when they are thinking about a purchase. As we expand the type of content further with more impressive photo displays, you will have even more opportunities to stand out and tell your story.
User Generated Content
A third way that information is shared about businesses on PayPay is through the sharing of information generated by our community of users. When we launched the new PayPay maps in November of last year, we included an option for people to rate and review the businesses that they visited.
For certain types of merchants, especially in the restaurant business, good ratings and positive word-of-mouth can have a huge impact on somebody choosing to go to your establishment over another one nearby. Ratings and reviews can therefore be found when a user browses the nearby stores in the PayPay or visits a store or brand page.
We already see a huge number of reviews posted everyday by our users, with people commenting on experiences, product options, store design and more. To continue to make it easier for our users to add these useful bits of information, we also recently added a dedicated reviews section in the user profile. From here somebody can find the businesses that they have recently visited and easily leave their comments or ratings, as well as check those left by others.
You can expect to see more user-generated content in the future as we look to continue to develop this aspect of PayPay further and help provide PayPay users with more and more useful bits of information to help them shop.
All of the content on PayPay exists to be able to help customers complete their desired action – buy something, order a food delivery, reserve a taxi and more – in the way that is best for them. We believe that if this content is presented in the optimal way, at the optimal time, then we are helping to create happier customers, and new options for you as a business owner.