Despite PayPal's high awareness and 210 million active users, less than 10% actually choose PayPal at checkout. This staggering performance metric reflects the brand's increasing irrelevance to the modern day shopper.
Additionally, PayPal's consumer base amongst millennials was decreasing steadily. Choosing PayPal in a world of Apple Pay and Masterpass had become a quaint and outdated decision. The challenge became clear: We needed to engage and reinvent ourselves for a new generation of online shoppers and get them to choose PayPal at checkout. Our ambition was to take a brand that is known by many as just "the eBay button," and bring shoppers something new.
For a new generation of shoppers, Pinterest boards and YouTube influencers have become the new classifieds and infomercials. Researching and comparing products used to be a chore – a necessity before making a purchase. Now, modern shoppers are enjoying the hours of collecting inspiration, seeking new products through the social feeds of their favorite influencers, and exploring all of the possibilities before buying.
Our key insight: the search has become just as gratifying as the purchase itself.
We saw a way for PayPal to add value at this stage of the shopper journey in a way that our direct competitors couldn't. Because PayPal is utilized on millions of sites across the globe, they have a large network of merchant partners. The opportunity was in leveraging this existing network and connect them to online shoppers in a cool, interesting way as shoppers search and find new products online.
So we created PayPal's Local Selects—the first-of-its kind livestream shopping experience where customers are virtually transported to the world's coolest markets to discover and buy unique items in real time. Through our Facebook livestream and custom Local Selects microsite, we took shoppers around the world from LA and NYC to Sydney Australia letting them shop markets that would've otherwise been inaccessible without feed on the ground.
We recruited style expert and social media queen Leandra Medine of Man Repeller as well as famous comedian Matt Okine to walk shoppers throughout the market and introduce them to merchants in an entertaining way. As Leandra or Matt held up an item, the Local Selects site displayed the product details and purchase options in real time so online shoppers could instantly buy items they discovered. This gave online shoppers access to new and unique products they may have otherwise never known existed. Shoppers also interacted with Leandra and Matt via the Facebook livestream feed which gave a cool sense that you were discovering and buying products alongside them.
Local Selects exceeded our initial objectives and goals yielding 250,000+ transactions, 590,00 live streams, and over 21,000 PayPal sign ups. With such a high number of transactions and sign ups, we were able to validate Local Selects' ability to drive PayPal purchases and reflect a PayPal win at checkout. Additionally, the Local Selects site and Facebook livestream had highest viewership from the 25-34 age range, showing us its success in reaching a younger modern shopper. Our featured merchants also saw incredible success and spikes in transactions, with one even getting a 31% spike in PayPal transactions as compared to a usual day. Lastly, and most unexpectedly, Local Selects also yielded a spike in PayPal merchant sign-ups. This showed us an opportunity to also use Local Selects as a tool for onboarding new PayPal merchants and a great way to spotlight up-and-coming small merchants.
Overall, Local Selects was both a business and creative success by giving PayPal repeatable and scalable way to successfully connect modern online shoppers with small merchants across the globe.