As the uncertainty, confusion, and worries of 2020 drag on, many consumers will continue to rely on online merchants – more than ever before. This holiday season, online merchants expect consumers to lean on them for all of their shopping needs, from holiday decor and groceries to gifts and holiday cards. For many retailers, this shift in consumer trends may feel overwhelming and a little disappointing, but it likely doesn’t come as a surprise.
The shift to e-commerce has been happening for some time. The coronavirus pandemic has simply sped up a process that was already in the works. In addition to moving online, consumers will reportedly spend less this year and start shopping earlier than normal. Consumers are also being told to expect shipping delays due to the strain on the logistics and delivery systems from COVID-19.
So, how can online merchants stay on top of things, create one-of-a-kind experiences for their customers, and fuel a successful holiday season after a rough year? Here are a few tips that will help your business retain shoppers, close more sales and move into a bright, new year.
1. Place the spotlight on your team
Without a doubt, small businesses have been hit the hardest this year. Supporting small businesses and the real people behind them is more important than ever. So make an effort to really show off your staff. Give your customers a glimpse of your behind-the-scenes to really humanize the shopping experience.
2. Be flexible on shipping restrictions
With so many people still worried about becoming sick, keeping their distance, and not traveling this holiday season, it’s wise to consider easing up on shipping restrictions. If not, you may miss out on considerable profits. Rather than requiring that orders be shipped to the billing address on the card, incorporate a payment fraud monitoring tool that can be integrated with trusted third-party platforms (e.g. Amazon Payments and PayPal.)
3. Implement real-time communication tools
With fewer and fewer face-to-face interactions, more small businesses are having to jump on board with other methods of communication for questions and support. Live chat still remains an essential tool for eCommerce merchants, and social media messaging still sits as the preferred method for most shoppers. You should also keep in mind that communication via phone may be more popular this year than in the past, so ensure you have the staff necessary to accommodate this method of customer service.
4. Convey your purpose and generosity
An ever-increasing trend, consumers today care about a brand’s purpose. So much so that it greatly influences not only their purchasing decisions but also their loyalty and willingness to share the brand with others. According to a study by Zeno Group, a public-relations firm, consumers are four times as likely to buy from a brand they think has a strong purpose and clear vision. This holiday season, find ways to support causes and establish a purpose-driven connection.
Where to Find Funding and Payment Processing for this Holiday Season
Could your business benefit from a boost in cash? Do you need to increase the payment processing options and support to handle this holiday season? Partnering with a high-risk provider like First American Merchant can help you secure the support and industry-leading merchant services you need to make this holiday season a success.
Our team of experts at First American Merchant can help you quickly and easily secure the flexible funding and payment processing options you need. Thanks to our experience and vast network, you can have an account, merchant services, and funding approved in as little as 24 hours.