It has only been a few months since Sephora launched Alipay in 11 of its Canadian stores, but the mobile payments platform already is paying dividends to the beauty retailer. After running a joint promotion over the 2018 holiday season — 10% off all purchases of more than $150 made through the Alipay app — the average transaction value from users that claimed the benefit increased by nearly 90%.
Sephora is one of several North American retailers adding Alipay as a means to attract Chinese consumers with a mobile payment platform they are familiar with. Approximately 65% of Chinese tourists have used mobile payment while traveling overseas, compared with only 11% of non-Chinese tourists, according to a report from Alipay and Nielsen. Overall, 90% of Chinese tourists would use mobile payment overseas given the option, the study said.
In November 2018, 7-Eleven implemented Alipay and WeChat Pay mobile payment services for Chinese customers traveling in Canada, making it the first convenience store to accept these platforms in the market. Earlier in the year, Guess added the payment option, enabling travelers to use their Alipay Mobile Wallet when making purchases at more than 50 Guess stores across the U.S.
These retailers gain the ability to market to Chinese tourists before, during and after their visits through Alipay’s geolocation-based “Discover” function and push notifications within the app. Traveling shoppers can use the app to search for local stores, receive promotional information and make purchasing decisions.
Alipay kickstarted its North American push via a partnership with First Data, adding 35,000 North American retailers that will accept the payments platform in stores.
The Chinese New Year, which takes place on Feb. 5, 2019, gives North American businesses implementing Alipay a major opportunity to capitalize on purchases from Chinese tourists.