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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2757 - March 09, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

Checking out with PayPal at The Home Depot

By Ina Steiner
March 09, 2012

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The Home Depot has just finished deploying PayPal as a payment method at all of its almost 2,000 U.S. stores, according to The Home Depot spokesperson Steve Holmes. But it's a little early to report on customer acceptance and adoption since it's a fresh deployment, he said.

The home-improvement chain initially ran a pilot test beginning with 5 stores and quickly expanded it to 51 stores, most of them in the Bay area.

What sold the Home Depot on PayPal? "PayPal offers speed, convenience and a lower transaction cost over traditional networks," according to Holmes. He said The Home Depot does not disclose terms for any of its agreements and said he could only confirm that it was less than other traditional networks.

Holmes said the PayPal payment option "fits in well with our focus on improving the checkout experience for all of our customers." For over a year The Home Depot has been exerting a very intense focus on the front end of its checkout, including a large training program for cashiers, new hardware and software for self-checkout, and new mobile checkout capability.

The latter was deployed in late 2010 when The Home Depot provided store associates with handheld devices so they could scan each item in a customer's shopping cart and provide them with a card they could swipe when they reached the register, speeding checkout time. The handheld devices also have a receipt printer that can be used for mobile checkouts in some cases.

Holmes said it was difficult to discuss the resources required to deploy PayPal's POS solution since The Home Depot worked with PayPal to develop it. The technology deployment has gone very smoothly, he said. He's not aware of any target adoption rate, but said the company would be watching adoption closely. Already The Home Depot has heard from customers who have forgotten to bring their wallet to the store and checked out using PayPal without having to return home for their wallet.

Before using PayPal at The Home Depot stores, customers must activate Store Checkout in their PayPal account. There's no charge to consumers for using PayPal Store Checkout, which is available to anyone with a Personal or Premier PayPal account (it's not currently available to Business account holders).

Customers can use their mobile phone number and PIN to pay at the register, or they can use the PayPal payment card, a store-only spending card linked directly to the customer's PayPal account.

PayPal's Anuj Nayar said they are educating consumers about the availability of PayPal as a checkout option at The Home Depot through in-store signage and social media channels and PR to drive initial interest. As the product rolls out, there are some significant market promotions planned for the last half of 2012 with the 20 retailers that will be participating in the program in order to drive consumer knowledge about the new ways to pay in store.

More information about using PayPal Store Checkout is available on PayPal.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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