PayPal President Breaks Down Shopping Stats, 2013 Plans

PayPal President David Marcus agreed to an informal sit-down with reporters at a San Francisco-area Starbucks yesterday. Given the week his company just experienced, there was plenty for him to say.

TechCrunch reported some of Marcus’ most interesting quotes, as the PayPal leader discussed his company’s crazy holiday sales, their increasing focus on data, the painful October layoffs and more. We break down Marcus’ talking points below.

Holiday Sales

PayPal has had a ridiculously successful sales week, seeing its best mobile sales day ever on Black Friday and watching mobile payments increase by 196 percent on Cyber Monday. Marcus noted that he believes PayPal’s price-match promotion has positively affected sales, and believes it’s led to consumers directly choosing PayPal over other checkout options. TechCrunch also notes that the “lion’s share of PayPal checkout” is done via mobile: a trend Marcus found interesting.

“The fascinating thing is the behavior change of people pre-shopping and buying on mobile,” Marcus said, characterizing PayPal’s holiday run as an “amazing shopping weekend.”

Focusing On Data

Marcus said his company has around five petabytes of purchase data from its 117 million users, and that PayPal can use this data to help bridge the gap between businesses and consumers. TechCrunch says that PayPal is also going to dive into the geofencing arena, using Where’s technology, starting early next year.

“It’s about providing an entire shopping experience and ensuring people get relevant offers for what they are buying,” he says. “And that doesn’t happen unless you have data.”

Dealing With Businesses Small And Large

For larger retailers, such as Home Depot and Abercrombie & Fitch, PayPal has launched some in-store payments options, and Marcus revealed that they’re available at 17,000 locations. Marcus also highlighted Discover’s deal with PayPal, stating that it will “light up millions of new locations for PayPal’s in-store payments experience.”

For smaller merchants, Marcus said PayPal is looking to introduce installment plans. An early offering that allows businesses to sell items with a six-payment installment plan has resulted in some small businesses seeing sales grow by 20 percent, according to the PayPal president.

PayPal’s Work Force

When asked about PayPal’s recent layoffs, Marcus characterized the decision as “painful, but needed,” noting that the company is now hiring younger talent. Marcus gave an example of how the company decided to give extra time to Hurricane Sandy victims who needed to make their monthly bill payments, nothing that implementing the process took hours, whereas in the past it would’ve taken weeks.

“The organization is recovering well, and the vast majority of people at PayPal believe we are in a better place as a flatter org,” Marcus said.

To read more of Marcus’ comments, read the full TechCrunch story here.

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