It's important to prepare your business for the holiday season, so you can make the most of the increase in holiday spending.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday already behind us, there’s no doubt that we’re into the holiday shopping season, full swing. Consumers will most likely be continuing their spending sprees up until the New Year and there are a few steps you can take to get your business ready for the holiday season and to make the most of holiday spending.
Make Sure Customers Know Your Refund, Exchange, and Return PoliciesWith consumers making more purchases than usual – and more purchases for other people who may be less than thrilled with their gifts – you are likely to see an increase in the number of refunds, exchanges, or returns that customers are asking for. Whether someone is returning a gift, swapping a size, or changing their mind, it’s important to have your policies clearly communicated on your website and in-store so customers understand what the policies allow. If you’ve decided to extend or change any of your return policies for the holiday season, make sure it’s clear what the changes are and when the new cut off date is if it has been extended from your usual time frame. Setting clear customer expectations at the time of purchase can help you avoid having upset customers later on and avoid any unnecessary customer disputes.
Share Your Shipping Policies and Shipping DeadlinesHaving clear shipping policies is another way to help avoid unneeded customer frustration if an item doesn’t arrive as quickly as the customer was hoping. Depending on the shipping method you use, you may also want to add disclaimers or notices to your website as last-minute shoppers get closer to the cut off date for guaranteed holiday deliveries. If a customer is confident that their purchase will arrive in time, they are less likely to request a refund or get impatient as they wait for their important deliveries.
Process Payments Quickly with Tap and PayAside from being able to accept your customers preferred method of payment – whether it’s credit, debit, or cash – it’s also important to be able to accept card payments the way your customers prefer to pay. According to the PWC Holiday Outlook report, 24% of shoppers in the US plan to pay for their purchases using a smartphone or a wearable device. For these customers to pay with their preferred method, your business will need a terminal that is NFC (near-field-communication) compatible, these terminals allow customers to quickly pay for their transactions by waving or tapping their card or NFC-enabled device over the terminal screen. Because the transactions don’t require a PIN or signature they can be completed faster, allowing you to move on to serving the next customer and significantly decrease lineup volume.
Be Aware of a Potential Increase in FraudWith holiday shopping, there can also be an increase in the number of fraudsters looking to take advantage of this festive time of year and hoping to hide amongst the volume of holiday transactions. Luckily, protecting your business during the holiday season is no different than any other time of the year, it’s just important to be extra careful because your attention will likely be focused on dealing with everything else that comes with running a business through the holidays. If you’d like to refresh your knowledge on how to protect your business from fraud, check out our articles on the types of fraud that could hurt your business and nine ways to spot fraud and avoid processing stolen credit cards for some helpful tips.
Offer Products Instore and OnlineIt shouldn’t come as a surprise that consumers value being able to shop online in addition to visiting their favorite retailers in stores. In Canada, 51% of millennial shoppers think of online shopping first and 50% of US consumers overall think of online shopping first. Having an online presence for your store can help you ensure you’re not missing out on half of this year’s holiday shoppers.
These five tips can help prepare your business for the increase in holiday sales so you can avoid additional stress and instead focus on celebrating the increase in sales. To learn more about how Helcim can help your business grow, check out the Helcim Commerce page on our website.