Yet another online retailer has just announced that it is now accepting the virtual currency, Bitcoin. TigerDirect revealed the news on Thursday with much elaboration on its website, including an educational guide to bitcoin and incentives for GPU card shoppers to “Start Mining with AMD”.
TigerDirect will use BitPay as its payment processor and in doing so will become the company’s largest client to date. Interesting to note though; Bitcoin will be accepted for online purchases only and not as a payment alternative in physical stores.
Steven Leeds, TigerDirect’s Director of Corporate Marketing, said; “TigerDirect has always been on the forefront of alternative online payment methods and delivering the most convenient ways for our customers to shop…With individuals building their own high-powered PCs with parts offered on our site to mine Bitcoins, it’s a logical fit.” Paige Freeman, BitPay’s VP of Sales, added: “We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with such a forward thinking, customer-focused company as TigerDirect. Now that they are accepting bitcoin, there will be many others to follow in their footsteps.”
Overstock.com began taking bitcoin at the start of the year, a good six months ahead of schedule, surprising many. Payment processor Coinbase, jumped onboard with Overstock, as soon as it heard about the speculation and worked without break to develop an implementation solution.
Retail online electronics in the US is reported to be worth $43.8bn a year. With TigerDirect now officially sided in the bitcoin camp, there will be greater pressure on Newegg to announce something more explicit in the very near future.
Until Overstock.com began accepting bitcoin, they had attracted far more attention from entrepreneurs in the financial world than in retail. Shopify announced it would introduce bitcoin payment options for its independent merchants back in November. Overstock.com is an online retailer, but it deals mainly in household goods, so it was surprising to people unfamiliar with its CEO Patrick Byrne’s anti-government currency beliefs when it announced a plan to accept bitcoin. The CEO named credit card fees as the chief reason for the business move.
MarketLine research indicates online retail in the US alone was worth $200.4bn in revenues in 2012. The electronics segment is the most lucrative of all, its customers supplying 21.9% (or $43.8bn) of that total. Other online retailers are no doubt watching closely to see how firms such as Overstock.com and TigerDirect handle new customer issues related to bitcoin, such as how to properly identify and resolve fraudulent purchases. This will also test out payment processors, BitPay and Coinbase, to address Bitcoin’s price instability issues with regards to retailers.
[Image via tigerdirect]