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Gilt Adds Apple Pay To Court New Shoppers

December 14, 2015, 1:00 PM UTC
An Apple iphone 6 with Apple Pay is shown in this photo illustration in Encinitas , California
An Apple iphone 6 with Apple Pay is shown in this photo illustration in Encinitas , California June 3, 2015. Interviews with analysts, merchants and others suggest that Apple's forecast may be too optimistic and that many retailers remain skeptical about the payment system. Photo taken June 3, 2015. To match story APPLE-PAY/ REUTERS/Mike Blake - RTX1FA2C
Photograph by Mike Blake — Reuters

Fashion e-commerce site Gilt is adding Apple Pay as a payment option in its mobile app to attract new shoppers and make the checkout process simpler.

The decision, announced Monday, comes as Gilt and other retailers see a big rise in business through smartphones and tablets. Forrester Research predicts that sales through mobile devices will reach $115 billion this year.

For Gilt, adding Apple Pay (AAPL) helps make mobile payments easier for new shoppers by letting them avoid having to add their credit card information to their Gilt account. Introduced in 2014, Apple Pay lets iPhone and iPad users upload credit and debit card information to a “mobile wallet” that they can then use at thousands of retailers and companies like Best Buy, Etsy, Sephora, Staples, Starbucks, and Target.

At checkout, shoppers using the app complete transactions by using the Apple Touch ID feature or by entering their Apple password. Customer credit and debit card numbers are never shared with the app they are buying from.

Google (GOOG) offers a similar mobile wallet for Android phones, called Android Pay.

Grocery delivery service Instacart says that checkout is 58% faster for shoppers using Apple Pay than other payment methods, including adding credit information manually, saving almost a minute on average during checkout. Restaurant booking site OpenTable recently introduced a feature that lets restaurant diners pay for their meal through its app. The company said transactions grew nearly 50% in the first month after adding Apple Pay as an option, and that people who have enabled Apple Pay are nearly four times more likely to pay through the OpenTable app than people who haven’t.

In any case, Gilt’s mobile sales are growing quickly. Over the recent extended Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, mobile represented over 40% of the company’s total sales, up from 14% during the same period last year. Gilt’s chief product officer Steve Jacobs told Fortune that 80% of Gilt’s mobile sales are through Apple devices.

Gilt, which is focused on flash sales, is reportedly struggling to maintain its once red-hot growth. Earlier this year, it put its plans for an initial public offering on hold. Gilt declined to comment to Fortune about the company’s recent financial performance.

Fellow rivals in flash sales haven’t performed well either. Zulily’s shares plunged over 60% following its IPO last year, and, earlier this year, the company sold itself to the parent of home shopping channel QVC for $2.4 billion. Vente-Privee USA, the U.S. outpost of European flash sales site Ventee-Privee, shut its doors last year. Meanwhile, RueLaLa reportedly laid off staff earlier this year.

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