Wet Seal adds mobile payments, with a teenage twist

Wet Seal (NASDAQ:WTSL) is growing its online and mobile presence by launching a new payment program and partnership with Oink, adding Fanreel and expanding its Tumblr presence.  
More than half of Wet Seal's Web traffic now comes from mobile, although desktop still yields a higher conversion rate as online sales continue to grow.

The teen apparel and accessories retailer is looking to combat declining mall traffic with an increased online presence. To that end, Wet Seal is partnering with Oink, making it easier for kids to complete purchases using Oink's proprietary payment program.

"Oink was one of the first payment systems developed for kids and teens," said John Goodman, Wet Seal CEO. "We think that this is a great add-on for our customers, many of whom cannot transact online because they don't have credit or debit cards. The service essentially acts as a PayPal for minors and student customers who will have the ability to use it for in-store payments as well."

Oink lets parents set up an account, set parameters and monitor activity. That minor can then make purchases from retailers that accept Oink. Dozens of retailers including Gap (NYSE:GAP) banners, Sephora and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) accept Oink.

Another key strategy for Wet Seal is the introduction of Fanreel that lets shoppers integrate fan created images into the retailer's product pages. Wet Seal will also be establishing a Tumblr for both Wet Seal and Wet Seal Plus and launching a dedicated effort to create engaging content. "Our customers are avid users of Tumblr, which makes it an obvious place for us to deploy resources," said Goodman. "Social media continues to play a critical role in our marketing efforts, and we are utilizing this to help us establish Wet Seal as a relevant brand among our core teen customer."

For more:
-See this earnings call transcript on Seeking Alpha

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