It’s never too early to start planning for the shopping boom that happens each festive season. Missing the window to prepare to meet your customers’ expectations for a frictionless payment experience can hurt your ability to capitalise on the busiest retail season of the year.
This year, make it a point to start strategising early so that you have the best chance at making this Christmas and New Year your best one yet. Here are five payment strategies to help you maximise your revenue potential:
1.Think Mobile First
If you’re still not thinking mobile, now is the time. Mobile sales, specifically smartphone sales, last year increased nearly 34% over the prior holiday season accounting for nearly one-third of total revenue, according to Adobe Digital Insights.
Businesses that have figured out how to optimise their mobile commerce experience are greatly benefiting from consumer’s penchant for mobile shopping. A mobile-first commerce experience gives your customers the ability to easily do business with you directly from their mobile device. Because a mobile device’s screen is much smaller than a computer’s, there are different ecommerce best practices to employ like keeping the navigation simple, reducing the amount of content on any one page and enabling mobile payments to simplify the payment process for your customers. Increasing your mobile site’s speed is another important factor for encouraging your customers to shop with you via your mobile channel. Use a mobile site speed test like Google’s Test My Site to analyse if your mobile site load time needs improving.
Take the steps now to make mobile commerce a priority in your business so you don’t miss out on the growing amount of mobile shopping that happens during the festive season.
2. Optimise Your Website
Like mobile, online shopping is also growing each festive season. Online shoppers spent $122 billion (*£99 billion) last year, representing a 17.4% spike over the prior year. This increase in online shopping during the holiday season creates a great opportunity for you to reach even more customers with your products and/or services and generate additional sales. If you’re not already selling online, you must first accept online payments. From there focus on optimising your website for sales conversion.
Your website is your business welcome mat. According to research conducted by Nielsen Norman Group, website visitors make a decision about whether to stay on your website or leave it in just 10 seconds. That means you have 10 seconds to capture a potential customer’s attention or they could be gone forever.
Plan for the height of this year’s festive shopping season with online sales conversion techniques that are proven to keep your potential customers on your website longer:
Use clear and concise language to convey the value proposition of your product or service.
Don’t overwhelm your customers with too much copy. Being brief is best.
Add video to reinforce the value proposition. Video is known to keep website visitors more engaged.
Build trust in your business, products and services with testimonials, reviews and case studies.
Test, test and test some more. Create baseline metrics and measure continuously to see if changes you make are positive or negative to the web experience.
Now that you have captured your web visitor’s attention by applying these techniques, complete the sale by taking into account the five golden rules to maximise website conversions. These are steps you can take to reduce friction in the checkout process and make it as easy as possible for your customer to make a purchase from you.
3. Sell Gift Cards for Your Business
There are plenty of strong reasons why leveraging gift cards as a payment strategy in your business is advantageous for your customers and you, and particularly so during the holiday season. Gift cards year after year are the holiday gift option of choice. Did you know that for the 12th year running the National Retail Federation ranked gift cards at the top of consumers’ gift list?
Sell gift cards for your business this holiday season and realise many bottom-line benefits:
Customers have to pre-spend money with you to buy a gift card, meaning you get the sales benefit immediately.
Customers typically spend more than the value of the gift card when they redeem them, giving you an incremental sales lift.
Gift cards keep customers coming back to your business to redeem them, creating more selling opportunities for you.
You’ll get an awareness boost from your brand’s logo displayed on your gift card.
Accepting gift cards expands the types of payment methods you accept at checkout and the more payment methods you accept, the more customers you can reach.
▪ Gift cards can be used for loyalty and rewards. Many retailers offer attractive gift card incentives during the holiday season to elicit even more sales. You have probably seen a business or two offer a gift card incentive like buy a £40 gift card and get a bonus £10. These loyalty and reward offers strengthen the relationship between you and your customer.
Start planning your Christmas gift card program now in order to make the most impact when the holidays roll around.
4. Offer Favorable Payment Terms
Consumers had an average of 16 gifts tto buy during the festive season in 2018 and spent an average of $525 (*£430), according to Deloitte's retail survey. As you can imagine, the financial expectations of the festive season can put stress on any budget. Businesses that offer favorable payment terms are better positioned to win over Christmas shoppers.
This is an often overlooked area but an important one to capture more sales. Consider how you might adjust your payment terms to help your customers afford your products and/or services this festive season. These include terms like deferred billing, payment plans and recurring billing. Make sure whatever payment terms you plan to offer is consistent with your local laws. Giving your customers payment flexibility makes buying from you more attractive than your competition that doesn’t offer these types of convenient payment options.
Once you establish what you will offer, communicate it to your customers (along with any applicable terms and conditions) and watch how simple adjustments in the payment terms can motivate customers to buy.
5. Take Your Point of Sale Mobile
Selling opportunities are everywhere during the Christmas shopping season and often extend far beyond the four walls of your brick-and-mortar location and even your website. With a mobile point of sale (mPOS), you can meet your customers anywhere they are. Maybe you want to sell at the Christmas market. Maybe you want to host an exclusive festive event at another location and sell your items there. Maybe you want to offer a unique delivery service. All of this is possible when you have your point of sale conveniently in hand wherever you go.
An mPOS also allows you to make checkouts faster in store where customers may face long lines at the register. You can arm your store associates with a tablet or mobile device and accept payment from your customers anywhere in your store. Not only will your customers be happier with their buying experience, but you can process more transactions in a given amount of time, meaning more revenue in your pocket.
Ask yourself what on-the-go selling opportunities you envision for your business this festive season and whether your business could benefit from shorter checkout lines. If the answer is yes, consider implementing an mPOS to make buying from your business more attractive during the busiest season of the year.
An important part of being a business owner is working on your business, rather than in it. These five payment strategies will help you do just that and plan for what’s likely your biggest revenue-generating season of the year.
Our team is ready to help you get prepared for the festive season. Contact us here.
* GBP values calculated at currency exchange rates from 29 August 2019.