This blog was contributed by Don Pingaro, a marketing strategist and content creator for Redstage Worldwide, the transformative B2B ecommerce agency.
‘Tis the season to prep your store! With retailers gearing up for the holiday season, there’s never been a more crucial time to ensure your store is prepped to handle anything. Especially the last leg of the journey where all too many customers fall off: The checkout. The key to decreasing the number of abandoned carts is with omnichannel payment optimization.
Here’s what to keep top of mind when it comes to payment methods.
In a previous article, “9 Harsh Holiday Truths That Will Make You A Better Profit“, we noted the importance of alternate payment methods. This year, expect them to play an even larger role.
“As a key aspect of any ecommerce strategy, digital wallets like PayPal, Google Wallet, and Apple Pay have become the standard.” Adam Morris, Redstage CEO said. “But that’s just the beginning. We’ve seen success with Amazon Pay, too. And as of last October, Venmo users can shop online at any U.S. store that accepts PayPal. So now they can check out faster than traditional methods. Mobile wallets have big implications for the retail market. And this is especially when it comes to mobile and millennials.”
Interestingly, Venmo recently alerted users they can no longer send and receive money through the company’s website. This change will encourage a flood of app downloads just in time for the holiday season — a season now driven by sales on mobile devices. It’s time for brands to convert to this generation’s disruptive mindset. Because this trend isn’t going anywhere but up.
Holiday Payment Tip 1: B2B and B2C companies alike can cash in by adjusting to the online habits and purchasing styles of millennial consumers.
2. The Mobile Market Blitz
Forrester’s latest estimates indicate smartphones will account for roughly 34% of U.S. ecommerce sales in 2018 (over $1 trillion). And eMarketer Inc. predicts mobile will own 50% of the same market in 2020.
Last year, mobile surprised the industry when it surpassed desktop purchases for the first time in history. Additionally, consumers used mobile phones for more than 40% of online sales in November and December. And today, mobile accounts for around 50% of online purchases for retailers with shopping apps.
With this said, it’s not enough just to have a site with a mobile option. Effective omnichannel payment optimization means your mobile site or app should be fast, efficient, and offer a great customer experience.
Holiday Payment Tip 2: Build a mobile strategy with some kind of omnichannel aspect like an app or an in-store map to help users find items and holiday deals from their smartphones. Customers love stores that let them shop on mobile.
3. Cyber Week II: Return of The Sales
Pay attention to post-holiday sales. Yet another shopping holiday has been given a name, emerging from last year’s holiday frenzy. After the holidays, customers rush into stores to make returns, replace items that were the wrong size or color, and use their “stocking stuffer” gift cards.
Stores in the US and the U.K. took advantage of this post-Christmas surge by offering deals and discounts the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The power of what has been dubbed “Cyber Week II” was clear. Retailers in the U.K. experienced a 28% AOV increase.
To add to the basket-filling bonanza, Thanksgiving is poised to overtake Cyber Sunday sales. “Thanksgiving will likely bump Cyber Sunday off the medal stand to become the third-biggest shopping day of the season, trailing only Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” Rick Kenney, head of consumer insights at Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud told CNBC. Companies may want to consider squeaking through some doorbuster deals the day before.
Lastly, the in-store retail trend of selling Christmas decorations three months early has moved online. That’s right: online holiday shopping show starts in October.
Retailers like Best Buy and even Walmart began pushing holiday promos in the early fall of 2017 — way before the traditional Black Friday holiday kick-off. You can bet other retailers are going to jump on the trend.
Holiday Payment Tip 3: New shopping holidays are here. Know them well, and prepare to grab your slice of the pumpkin pie with omnichannel payment optimization.
While this holiday season is shaping up to be the craziest and most profitable yet, many retailers are missing out on key trends that should not be overlooked for 2018. Redstage recently completed a study of 3 key ways ecommerce companies optimize checkouts to maximize mobile payment effectiveness. In the study, we discovered some interesting tips for enhancing device-specific checkout experiences and minimizing cart abandonment. Here’s some insight you don’t want to miss. Happy selling!