On Monday, Schmidt’s Naturals, a personal care products company owned by Unilever, began accepting bitcoin for online payments.
Michael Cammarata, co-founder and CEO of Schmidt’s, told CNBC that in an era of cryptocurrency the company is giving consumers what they want.
“Some of the [website’s] subscribers were like, ‘Hey, we want to be able to pay in bitcoin,'” he said Tuesday on “Power Lunch.”
Now customers can shop on the company’s website for a variety of natural products — including deodorant, toothpaste and soap — and check out with bitcoin.
The company uses BitPay, a bitcoin payment service provider, for online transactions.
Bitcoin was priced around $8,500 on Tuesday. While the price disparity between a single bitcoin and a bar of soap, for example, may be huge, Cammarata said BitPay allows users to pay a fraction of each bitcoin. In addition, most shoppers use the coins to buy monthly or yearly subscriptions, not “one-off purchases,” he said.
Subscriptions, he said, are “totally customizable,” allowing customers to order on a long-term basis and decide what and how much they want. Cammarata said that so far, most people using bitcoin are parents who are buying yearly subscriptions, or packages of toiletries, for their college kids.
Schmidt’s is the first Unilever store to accept bitcoin as a payment. The company, which Unilever recently acquired, also sells products at retailers such as Target, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and drug stores nationwide, Cammarata said. But for now, bitcoin can only be used for payments on the website.
And, for now, bitcoin is the only digital coin accepted. But Cammarata said the payment method might expand to include cryptocurrencies such as ripple and ethereum.
“We’re going to start with bitcoin and see how it goes,” Cammarata said. “If the demand is there we’ll expand.”