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PayPal Acquires Modest to Capitalize on Contextual Commerce

PayPal is acquiring a company called Modestso it can capitalize on what it called “contextual commerce.” It pointed to social media sites and their increasing moves to offer visitors instant shopping experiences as the reason – including Buyable Pins that make it possible for Pinterest users to purchase products pinned from merchants.

“Mobile commerce sucks, and we wanted to change that,” Modest co-founder Harper Reed said in an interview with Fortune.

“Social media networks are evolving from places where people share and discover great new things to places where they buy the things they find, at the moment of discovery,” PayPal executive Bill Ready wrote in a post on the company blog. “And, of course, people increasingly want to do all of this on mobile.”

Ready called contextual commerce an exciting opportunity for PayPal and Braintree, saying it represented a new frontier for commerce that is rapidly growing. “The acquisition of Modest will help us do amazing things in this area, faster than ever before. This means we will be able to offer merchants a complete commerce solution (payments and order management) to help them add contextual commerce channels to the ways that they sell to their customers. For consumers it will mean seamless, simpler, and safer ways to buy the things they want, anywhere they discover them.”

Modest is a Chicago-based company whose offering works seamlessly with merchants’ existing retail platform, including Shopify and Magento. “Modest powers your store’s mobile experience by allowing you to create a standalone iPhone app in minutes and integrate shopping into your existing mobile app. Soon we will enable similar experiences on your mobile web store, in Android apps, and even in email and push notifications,” the company explains on its website.

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What if a retailer doesn’t have a commerce platform that is integrated with Modest? They can create an app on Modest by uploading a CSV to the control panel with their products and inventory, it explains. “For a deeper custom integration, contact us.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.