Consumers will rely on online merchants more than ever during this year’s holiday season. Here are seven tips for retaining shoppers and closing more sales.
7 Tips for the 2020 Holidays
Integrate PayPal’s “Pay in 4.” The largest online payment provider’s latest offering lets customers pay for orders totaling $30 to $600 across four installments. Merchants receive the money upfront and pay only the standard PayPal rate. Plus, PayPal assumes all the risk.
Pay in 4 is one of several buy-now, pay-later options for merchants. Pay in 4 is available to PayPal business accounts and is automatically integrated with several ecommerce platforms.
Show off your staff. Supporting smaller businesses and real people is more important than ever. By showcasing your staff working behind the scenes, you can humanize the shopping experience.
Include a photo or video on the home page and reference it throughout the website. Keep in mind that social distancing remains a priority for many shoppers. So focus on media that doesn’t convey too-close-for-comfort situations. If your staff is primarily working remotely, create a collage of them in their home offices.
Convey your generosity. A recent study by Zeno Group, a public-relations firm, revealed that consumers are four times as likely to buy from a brand they think has a strong purpose.
If your business gives during the holidays — money, products, services — make it known. How you support causes is a step in establishing the purpose-driven connection. As a bonus, consumers are also at least four times more likely to defend the company and make referrals to friends and family. And supporting a reputable cause that aligns with your brand can also help build trust and loyalty.
Ease up on shipping restrictions. Expect to miss out on profits if you require that orders ship to the billing address on the card. An unprecedented number of people will not be traveling this year. That means more gifts being shipped directly to family and friends.
A better solution is to rely on a payment fraud monitoring tool and integrate trusted third-party payment platforms such as Amazon Payments and PayPal. Each of those provides more merchant protection over most credit card accounts.
Display a countdown timer for important deadlines. Rather than issue deadlines for standard shipping to arrive by Christmas, display a countdown timer for a better sense of urgency. When that date has passed, update the timer to reflect the deadline for expedited methods. After that, replace it with a timer for intangibles, such as gift certificates or services.
Incorporate real-time communication tools. Live chat remains an essential tool for ecommerce. Social media messaging is also a preferred method for many shoppers. This year even phone calls could be popular.
Shoppers want answers immediately. They don’t want to wait for an email response. They also don’t want to fill out lengthy online forms. They want to click or tap a button, ask a question, and get a quick response.
In short, you’ll likely gain more sales if you can allocate staff to monitor incoming requests and provide instant answers.
Test all trust badges. Now’s the time to click on all the trust icons displayed in your site’s footer, those that confirm security and safety. Make sure they all populate the correct content.