Crypto users purchase more furniture than other shoppers. This is the experience of Stephan Widmer, CEO of Beliani, a web-only international seller of furniture and home accessories, that served over 1 million customers across 16 countries in Europe.
Beliani started using services of major crypto payments provider BitPay in May this year, offering to its customers the option to pay with bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), XRP, ethereum (ETH), and stablecoins USDC, GUSD, PAX, and BUSD.
Preliminary results show that most people paying with crypto are buying large items, like furniture. Furthermore, the overall shopping basket of crypto users is twice as large as the regular shopping basket in Beliani’s case, Widmer told Cryptonews.com, without specifying.
Among the available options, BTC has been used the most by far, followed by BCH. The company converts payments into fiat.
The retailer is seeing a peak in crypto payments in the UK and Switzerland, “strong markets” where they’ve done a special promotion with BitPay, though “good numbers” in Italy were recorded even before that.
They’re still testing the crypto waters and their weekly campaigns for the only payment option they promote – as they wouldn’t promote, for example, PayPal, said the CEO – but they’re spreading the word to crypto users that they accept cryptocurrencies too. Given that the buying cycle in furniture is long, it will take another two months or so for the results to be in. Regardless, they don’t plan to remove crypto as a payment option.
“For us, it’s more important that crypto becomes broadly used,” Widmer said. Spending crypto is important for it to go mainstream, but web shops need to start accepting it first. “And I believe in crypto,” the CEO added. “I think it has potential, and what we can do is offer to take this currency, and if more web shops do that, it will become more common and will help overall crypto economy.”
As for his advice to other companies, “I would say, implement it,” Widmer said. Maybe in five years, everybody will accept crypto, but “now you have a chance to differentiate from others with an additional payment method.” Though he finds it’ll take longer than five years for it to go mainstream, the CEO believes crypto “will become more and more standard.”
Benefits and chalenges
The CEO also shared his opinion on benefits that vendors can gain by accepting cryptocurrencies, and what challenges companies face.
- Lower cost: Users don’t get charged for using many payment options – the vendor does. But crypto saves vendors “a lot of money.” Overall, it “helps us to have lower costs. For the vendor, it’s better if the person pays with BitPay and crypto than with credit cards.”
- Increased privacy: Consumers are increasingly reluctant to give personal data, and crypto allows a higher level of anonymity.
- Increased security: Crypto allows better security for both the vendor and the client, and “security means normally better conversion rates.” From the vendors’ perspective, Widmer gave the example of wide-spread credit card frauds: the fraudster pays with a stolen credit card, the actual owner notifies the bank that they hadn’t made that purchase, the bank returns the money to the customer, but charges the vendor. By that time, the product has been shipped.
The IT integration was smooth, maybe even easier than implementing certain conventional payment methods, said Widmer, but other challenges exist.
- Finding the right partner: as a vendor, you don’t want fluctuation and speculation on the currency, so you must find a solution to have crypto converted automatically into fiat. But choosing a partner out of many companies, understanding who the big and trusted players are, and how they differ from each other, can be a challenge and a major research effort for vendors unfamiliar with the crypto space. It would be better to have fewer, but bigger payment processing companies, said the CEO, and more compiled research on each.
- Communication: The number of cryptocurrencies is rising, which becomes difficult to communicate to the customers through a website. It would be great to have “a common icon” for crypto in general to communicate the message that the shop accepts crypto.
- Information: The company didn’t consider doing anything else crypto/blockchain-related, but also doesn’t know what else they could use the technology for. “You know, I don’t know what else could we do? We’re not crypto experts; we’re a furniture trading company – that’s what we understand.”
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