Newegg's recent acceptance of Bitcoin is just the latest of the online electronics retailer's many digital payment options.
"First and foremost, we feel like as the leading technology-focused retailer we have a community that tends to be tech enthusiasts and tech-forward; theyre innovative by nature," says Soren Mills, chief marketing officer for North America at Newegg. "Our business has been about fueling their passion so we need to be innovative as well."
Many of its customers are involved in Bitcoin mining, or the process of using computing power to confirm transactions for the digital currency system. Newegg accepted its first Bitcoin transaction of $362.73 at 12:48 on July 1, roughly an hour after enabling acceptance of the digital currency.
Its other payment options include Visa's V.me and MasterCard's MasterPass digital wallets, as well as PayPal's stored-value and Bill Me Later instant credit accounts. For added authentication, it also supports Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.
"We work with Both MasterCard and Visa and are very pleased with our partnerships with them and want to be supportive of their innovation just as we are with PayPal and other partners," Mills says. On the mobile front, Newegg is a premier partner of Google Wallet.
Newegg works with BitPay, a Bitcoin merchant services provider, to enable Bitcoin acceptance. The retailer added Bitcoin to respond to customer feedback on its website and on technology forums and blogs, Mills says.
"They were the most requested single merchant that we kept hearing over and over again," says Stephanie Wargo, vice president of marketing at BitPay. "Consumer demand had a lot to do with it."
BitPay has been deadlocked in a race for Bitcoin merchant adoption with Coinbase, a Silicon Valley based merchant services and consumer wallet platform.
Newegg is using BitPay's new application programming interface (API), enabling some features that the vendor plans to announce next week, Wargo says. One such feature is automation of the refund method, which previously had to be handled manually.
"I think it comes down to our integration capabilities and our technology; when [merchants] take a hard look at our APIs and the support we can offer them, that's where the decision comes down," Wargo says. "Our APIs are definitely more secure and robust."
BitPay had the right combination of technology and services for Newegg, but "there are certainly other good options out there" in Bitcoin merchant services, Mills says.
Newegg will continue to evaluate additional payment methods, whether they are more traditional services or alternative cryptocurrencies, says Mills. Especially because the technology retailer is focused on international expansion, it will add payment options as it enters new markets, he says.
"We may not always launch [in a country] with [local payment methods] but it is our intention to serve customers with what they expect from their local retailers," Mills says.
Newegg currently offers its 10.5 million products to customers in regions such as the U.S., Canada, Taiwan and China. The company recently opened up the U.K. and Australia for shipping and will be announcing six more marketsPoland, New Zealand, Ireland, India, Singapore and the Netherlandsby the end of the year.