The holidays are getting close, and you know what that means for consumers - time to shop! As a business owner, thinking about the expanded sales is exciting. But are you, and your business, ready for the holiday season?
Roughly 20-40% of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year. In 2018, the National Retail Federation predicts that holiday retail sales in November and December will increase between 4.3 and 4.8% for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.
Here are a few simple things your business can do to increase sales during the holiday season.
1. Make sure your security is ready - If you don't protect your customers' data, your business can greatly suffer. 84% of consumers said their willingness to shop with retailers would be impacted if the retailer experiences a data breach.
Making sure your business' payment security practices are in place is one of the most simple things you can do to make sure you are protected.
- Become PCI compliant - When you become PCI compliant, you're protecting your business from a number of expensive consequences, liabilities and damages your business may face in the event of a data breach.
- Make sure you are accepting EMV cards - By accepting EMV chip cards, your business reduces the chances being liable for any fraudulent transactions.
- Brush up on fraud-prevention practices - Knowing what to look out for when it comes to fraud keeps your business and your customers safe from costly headaches.
By not protecting your business, you could not only lose out on sales, but you could lose customers and have long-term consequences that you do not want to deal with - like going out of business. Bah Humbug!
2. Brush up on your existing payment acceptance systems - Payment systems are probably something that you don't think too much about. However, a simple tweak to your payment acceptance equipment could mean big changes in your holiday sales.
- Look into business-savvy POS systems - POS systems are extremely easy to implement into your current payment systems. They also go above and beyond for you. POS systems can manage your employees' schedules, keep track of inventory, and give you insightful reporting.
- Think about your customers' touch points - Customers hate waiting in long lines. Think about different ways to help ease the pain of holiday shopping. Things like simple handheld payment systems are a great way to capture additional sales while your customers wait in line. Your customers will love it so much, they will tell all their friends about it.
- What about seasonal equipment? You don't want to commit to equipment you aren't going to use all year, so if you have a busy influx around the holiday season, think about getting some additional equipment for the holiday season! Seasonal equipment can help keep your lines moving and your sales up!
3. Expand your customers' options - Customers are looking for new and better ways to shop! Make sure you are giving your customers the options they want.
- Online shopping - Consumer trends are changing - 51% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online. In 2017, businesses made more sales on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday. Do not miss out on these sales. Accepting payments online is easier than ever. International Bancard offers online payment acceptance options for all levels of expertise and they can be set up in no time at all.
- Gift cards - Gift cards are easy for businesses to offer. Digital gift cards are even easier. Digital gift card sales are expected to hit over $400 billion by 2019. Digital gift cards are cost-effective and simple for you and your customers to use.
- Loyalty programs - Loyalty programs keep your customers coming back! Many payment acceptance solutions now offer simple loyalty programs that are easy to implement.
- Sales on-the-go - Don't settle for making sales in one place! With simple on-the-go and mobile payment solutions, you can make holiday sales from anywhere!
4. Make last-minute updates - While you have been getting ready for your holiday sales season, you may have forgotten to take care of things around your actual business. With business cash advance options, you can make any last minute updates that you need for the holiday season - like repairs, hire additional staff, upgrade systems, etc. With business cash advances, you can prepare your business for the busy season.
This may seem like a lot to prepare yourself for the holiday season, but the good news is that these are all very simple to implement. International Bancard can walk you through most of these in less than one business day!
It's not too late, International Bancard will help you with anything you need to prepare for the holiday sales. We want to make sure you are expanding your sales while protecting your business' and your customers' data.
Schedule a call with one of International Bancard's Certified Payment Professionals to learn how you can prepare yourself for the busy holiday shopping season!