The business game is a fluctuating court, especially if you're dealing with the e-commerce crowd. Being proactive and staying one step ahead (even when you're wearing stilettos) is key, and the luxury fashion realm is no exception. At Tydløs, we know this first-hand.
With cryptocurrency payments now an option at checkout, we're taking the time to delve into things a little bit deeper. How's the e-commerce space—including the luxury fashion niche—taking on cryptocurrency, and what can we expect from crypto payments in the foreseeable future?
Popular Types of Cryptocurrency for E-Commerce Businesses
Perhaps the coolest thing about paying for your luxury goods online with crypto payments is that you have more than one option for which currency to use. It's a kind of freedom; making the decision on your own gives you the agency you need to manage your wealth, all while racking up the latest upscale attire.
At Tydløs, we use Bitcoin and Ethereum, and we'll touch on why those are our preferred payment portals. However, they're far from the only available cryptos, and they live among other popular options for e-commerce payments.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
Even if you know nothing about cryptocurrency, you've probably heard of Bitcoin. Bitcoin has been around since January 2009, so they've been building their technology for more than a decade. Head to their website and you'll see that they call themselves a "new kind of money," but the fact of the matter is that this OG has been standing strong for quite some time—and continues to thrive.
BTC is based on blockchain technology. It's decentralized, so users across the globe are able to make peer-to-peer transactions in a transparent yet anonymous fashion. While every user can see the transaction, only the Bitcoin owner can decrypt it using what's referred to as a "private key."
Bitcoin also has Bitcoin Cash, which is slightly different than the original form of currency. With larger-sized blocks, users can make more transactions faster. It's probably not necessary for the average Joe (or Joanne) seeking to make secure e-commerce transactions for personal use, but it's definitely worth keeping your eye out for.
- Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is another blockchain technology with their very own cryptocurrency, Ether. It's been around for half a decade and, by this point, its tech is totally trustworthy and secure. In addition to tracking transaction ownership, Ethereum has another feature: application developers can pay for transaction fees and services right through their network.
Through another decentralized platform, Ethereum Classic runs smart contract applications. There's absolutely no possibility of fraud or interference. People use the Classic Ether digital currency to pay for products or services on those smart contract apps.
- Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin is a BTC alternative, but there are some differences. LTC is believed to have faster transaction times, and they do allow for a higher coin limit. However, unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin's algorithm is based on total anonymity. You can't determine the sender, receiver nor the amount transacted. As a result, LTC is commonly used for illegal purchases on the dark web.
- Ripple (XRP)
Rather than simple direct purchases, Ripple is a cryptocurrency and digital network that focuses on transferring funds. With XRP, you can switch between any currency, whether it's based in crypto or institutional money. If you want to switch from Euro to BTC, you can do so with Ripple. XRP also connects to banks and thrives in the realm of moving large sums of money from one currency to another. Typically, people only use it in the e-commerce space if the transaction is major.
- Zcash (ZEC)
Zcash is more of a person-to-person platform. Respected scientists from major institutions (not the least of which is MIT in the United States) developed it to be rooted in research. Based on Bitcoin's original code, Zcash respects privacy. Go ahead and send your funds without having to disclose the identity of the sender or the receiver, nor the amount of ZEC.
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Another open-source network, the Lumen from Stellar is what's known as an intermediary currency. Basically, XLM is a facilitator for low-cost currency exchange. Send money from your own currency to someone else with a different currency. It's ripe for globalized e-commerce platforms.
Why E-Commerce Owners Add Crypto at Checkout
Think of it this way. E-commerce shops live on the web (you know, that place you go to do practically everything in your life these days). Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology also live on the web, so it only makes sense that they'd fuse well together. It's as natural a pair as wine and cheese.
The digitally savvy consumer base has a high demand for payment options of an equally savvy echelon. When an e-commerce shop or retail site adds cryptocurrency payment options at checkout, they're only serving to make space for the wants—and sometimes needs—of their very own consumers.
This additional form of payment doesn't affect an e-commerce shop's existing payment options. Take Tydløs, for example. We added Bitcoin and Ethereum as an option at checkout, but we continue to accept all major online payments through conventional currency.
Since adding cryptocurrency can help an e-commerce store acquire new customers while retaining existing ones, it's an obvious perk for the brand and its fanbase alike. In fact, it's almost a passive investment. As a business, your market expands, your transactions speed up, your fees shrink and your security revs.
When an e-commerce business owner adds cryptocurrency payment options, they do so in one of two ways:
- Adding a personal wallet. This virtual wallet can be downloaded to your phone, computer or hardware.
- Setting up a third-party payment processor. Coinbase and BitPay are just a couple of examples of third-party payment processors. Just like a credit card payment process, these platforms manage the payment for you. You can enjoy instant conversion and protection from price volatility.
Whichever route you choose, working with a reputable blockchain developer is probably your best bet. E-commerce business owners are experts in their field, but they might not be cryptocurrency know-it-alls. And that's okay, because there's a whole field out there of folks who are!
For E-Commerce Consumers: Weighing the Pros & Coins
What if you're on the consumer side of the e-commerce arena? How do you decide if cryptocurrency is right for you, or if you should stick with your trusty credit card?
Dan Conway, author of Confessions of a Crypto Millionaire, says that cryptocurrency is not an investment, but rather a belief system. Since blockchain technology and cryptocurrency is based on decentralization, Conway argues that it's a direct fight against the major monopolies of today. With 1% of the population pocketing most of the world's wealth, it makes sense to want to spread that out. Regulators scream at the thought of crypto, and don't we all love to tease them a bit
Fluctuation happens, but if you've ever invested, you're already familiar with the undulations of the market—digital or not. You don't have to be like Dan Conway, who invested his entire collection of assets (including his credit line) into the crypto market. Actually, we recommend you don't do that.
Crypto aficionados use a phrase called REKT. It's kind of a niche meme, one that refers to rookies who lose all their money and pull out of their Coinbase account in utter defeat. In a world where the lows are low and the highs are really high, having faith is everything.
Cryptocurrency doesn't have to be as much of a risk as you may imagine it to be. By analysing your options, listening to a wide range of voices and really digging in to mature technologies, you're setting yourself up for crypto success—the kind that translates to real-world monetary influence.
As far as e-commerce is concerned, purchasing your luxury goods with cryptocurrency does have a number of undeniable perks:
- It's totally secure, even more so than many credit card payment portals.
- No worries about fraud, corruption or hacking.
- Decentralized power FTW!
- Reap the rewards of peak values—and do so in the form of brand-new Gucci, Valentino or Trussardi.
Is Crypto a Novel Form of Payment for the Luxury Fashion Market?
Cryptocurrency may not be new, but for the luxury fashion market, this form of payment is innovative. Most of the time, crypto-exclusive sites will add upscale goods to their offerings, basically building luxury off of an existing base of crypto consumers. However, to add Bitcoin and Ethereum to an existing luxury platform is a whole different story.
Tydløs is one of the foremost luxury goods e-commerce shops to accept cryptocurrency payments. Buyers and bystanders alike are witnessing a change of pace in real time. By accepting cryptocurrency, we're actively broadening the market—not shifting it in an exclusionary fashion, but opening doors for others to join should they so desire. It's a diversification of the luxury market, and an inclusive effort to colorize the luxury audience.
Upscale goods may be elite by nature, but that doesn't have to mean they're impossible to access. In the digital age, achievement is more possible than ever, including the aesthetic kind. And we're here for the ride.
The Future of Cryptocurrency is Anything But Cryptic
The whole point of cryptocurrency is digital decentralization. The internet era and its individual vanguards allowed this revolution to be possible, and that's a pretty cool notion. But according to Investopedia, institutional money is entering the blockchain world, and that means big changes are a-comin'.
There's even talk that the Nasdaq—a US-based stock platform—will add cryptocurrency to its listing. This could mean never-before-seen credibility for blockchain users in every corner of the globe. Sureness could easily replace scepticism in the market. An exchange traded fund, or ETF, could also potentially boost verification for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Via Instagram (@nasdaq)
Whatever the case with cryptocurrencies, we know that e-commerce is growing. After all, 24-hour availability and the convenience of having your fave luxury items at your fingertips is an obvious facet in the online shopping intrigue. Trends move quickly, and you can access them at a moment's notice. By the year 2021, 72% of e-commerce sales will happen through smartphone devices, proving just how much the contemporary customer appreciates mobility.
With the rise of new technologies and novel payment options, there's more opportunity than ever to tailor your shopping experience to your personal needs. As financial technology matures alongside your taste in premium apparel, the two worlds of finance and fashion are bound to converge.
This Ain't Amazon: Standing Out In the E-Commerce Market
Crypto payments are just one way for an e-commerce shop to stand out in an undoubtedly saturated market. Independent online stores battle each and every day against the giant of consumerism itself, Amazon.
As it turns out, luxury shops are at an advantage. Amazon has a hold on most every space, but not so much premium jewellery and apparel. Their products are cheap, without recognizable brands to accompany them. Moreover, they hail from a morally questionable production process, and one that luxury brands don't really want to be a part of.
Adding cryptocurrency payment options like Bitcoin and Ethereum to e-commerce sites rooted in luxury only serves to accentuate an already burgeoning platform. Quality items that you can acquire through your own choice of currency? Sounds like a win-win to us.
Tydløs Took the Leap...So What Now?
At Tydløs, we're after more than just profit. We want to be your go-to hub for all things luxury style. At the same time, we aim to keep you in the loop, opting for sheer transparency instead of wearing a guise made from marketing materials.
Consider this a firm handshake, one where we promise to show our true colours, even if they don't align with Pantone's classic blue prediction.
The rise of cryptocurrency payments in the e-commerce realm is major, and we're welcoming our consumers from all across this great globe of ours to make it to the summit.
But at the end of the day, how you pay for Bottega Veneta's new XXL bag style is totally up to you.