Is it time for retailers to hop on the cryptocurrencies trend?
Pacsun in early October became the first major teen retailer to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, believing it is “one of the major trends” working with its young customer base.
The California-themed retailer said it aims to keep on top of fashion and lifestyle trends “to really give customers what they want.” Recent examples include collaborations with the ROBLOX metaverse and investments in livestream shopping, TikTok and shoppable ads on Instagram.
The retailer said celebrity endorsements and the accelerated online shift over the last year are driving crypto’s appeal with younger generations, citing a recent study from Pymnts.com showing 54 percent of current or former crypto owners are Gen Z.
“The Gen Z audience, our primary consumer, is very tech oriented, and we dedicate a lot of our efforts towards social media and e-commerce to align with their lifestyles and resonate with them on a more personal level,” said Mike Relich, Pacsun’s co-CEO, in a statement.
Piper Jaffray’s “Taking Stock With Teens Fall 2021” survey found only nine percent of teens have traded cryptocurrency, but 70 percent are aware of them. Of the crypto traders, 78 percent are male.
Prices of Bitcoin and other digital coins have rallied in recent months on reduced regulation fears.
Other advantages of blockchain payments cited by advocates includes faster transaction settlements, reduced fees and greater security than credit cards. The technology also promises greater transparency as blockchain tracks a product’s lifecycle, ingredients, storage conditions and ownership history.
While Pymnts.com research finds cryptocurrencies’ use for purchases is low even among “highly connected consumers,” intent is high and expected to grow as more retailers accept such payments.
Overstock, Starbucks, Newegg, Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Home Depot and GameStop are among retailers accepting crypto payments. Walmart and Amazon.com are believed to be exploring the technology.
Walmart earlier this month began piloting the sale of Bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks in some U.S. stores.
“Bitcoin ATMs have been around for a while, including in many supermarkets,” Sam Doctor, chief strategy officer at crypto brokerage BitOoda, told Bloomberg. “Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people, though, and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot.”
- Pacsun Is The First Youth Fashion Retailer To Accept Crypto Currency Through Bitpay – Pacsun
- Piper Sandler Completes 42nd Semi-Annual Generation Z Survey of 10,000 U.S. Teens – Piper Sandler/Business Wire
- Retailers Turn to Crypto, Social Commerce to Tap Gen Z Shoppers – Pymnts
- Walmart Shoppers Can Now Buy Bitcoin at 200 Kiosks in Its Stores – Bloomberg
- Are retailers prepared for a crypto market boom? – Crypto Slate
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the appeal to Gen-Z prove to be a major driver of the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a payment mechanism for retailers? Are the concerns over their use as a payment method heightening or easing?