NicSocks.com is a South African e-commerce portal offering socks for sale. Not just your average 7-pack of black socks, but fun socks that come in a huge range of designs that are perfect for the hipster in your life, or for anyone you know who loves whacky/original/high quality socks.
But that’s not what drew our attention to the site. No, what piqued our interest was the fact that NicSocks.com accepts Bitcoins as payment for their wares. Bitcoin is a digital currency, unregulated by any central bank but it’s also self-governing as there is no way to fake Bitcoin transactions without invalidating the entire code trail. It’s a really clever system, and if you want the skinny on exactly how it works, Wikipedia’s explanation will shed some light on the matter.
It’s an unusual choice of payment option as it’s still pretty new and the world is not yet convinced it’s anything more than an elaborate scam with the potential to fund terrorism, so we reached out to Nic at NicSocks.com to find out why the site has adopted Bitcoin.
I wanted to give my customers the ability to use something other than credit/debit cards to make their purchase of socks.
The fees are as close to zero for merchants as you can find and to be honest I want to stay as innovative as possible.
There’s a big push right now in the US for Bitcoin and a fair bit of my sales come from abroad so I didn’t want to lose sales because i wasn’t catering to everyone’s needs.
Over and above everything else – I saw it as a potential selling point for new customer acquisition.
So essentially, NicSocks.com is using Bitcoin because it offers both its international and local customers another way to pay, and helps to keep the site competitive by not turning away people wishing to pay using their preferred payment method, which may be Bitcoin. It also doesn’t hurt that the fees associated with using the currency are lower than with other payment methods, a fact that might encourage more businesses to adopt it in future.
It remains to be seen how successful Bitcoin will be in the long term, though, and to keep abreast of its progress we will be providing more coverage of the upstart currency in the near future. Stay tuned.