Three ways to make the most of a difficult peak holiday season

November 03, 2020
6 minute read
Cybersource Team
Cybersource Team
Global Experts

In this blog series, we’ll give you the information you need to get the most out of the 2020 peak holiday sales season.

This year’s peak holiday sales season will be different.

If you’ve suffered a knock to your sales as a result of COVID-19, you may well be looking to peak season to recover lost ground. Peak season may feel even more critical than usual this year.

But you may also be feeling an uncomfortable level of uncertainty about how best to prepare. What are your best options?

In this blog series, we’ll give you the information you need to prepare effectively so you can get the most out of the 2020 peak holiday sales season.

We’ll walk you through three key areas to consider in preparing your business to deliver a strong customer experience while also effectively fighting fraud:

  1. How to make it easier for your customers to pay you
  2. How to adapt to new shopping patterns and buying preferences
  3. How to hone your peak season fraud management strategy

In this first blog, we’ll look at how to make it easier for customers to pay you.

How to make it easier for your customers to pay you

How do your customers want to pay?

Today, customers are looking to use a wider range of payment methods than ever. They have many options, ranging from mobile apps and digital wallets to cards, cash on delivery, and online bank transfers. To keep friction low and give customers a good checkout experience, it’s important that you offer the payment types preferred by consumers in your local market.

Is this difficult to do? Not really. We make it easy for you to add new payment types with our Alternative Payment connection.

Offering customers the payment type they’d prefer is a simple but effective way to bring in more sales over peak season.

Reduce card on file friction  

Checkout friction in general continues to be a major cause of lost eCommerce sales.

Last year, for example, in North America alone, checkout-related difficulties led to almost USD $300 billion in abandoned sales.1

Reduce checkout friction and you’re more likely to drive up your checkout conversion rates and increase sales.

A good way to do this is to let customers save their card details so that subsequent purchases are easier. But even with a card on file, failed authorizations can still happen if card details go out of date.

You can avoid this by using a service that automatically updates changes to cards held on file such as Token Management Service or Account Updater.

By doing so, not only do you protect your business against losing sales, you can also help ensure you’re giving your customers the best possible customer experience at checkout.

Offer a helping hand with “Buy now, pay later”

The reality this year is that some of your customers may be financially struggling as a result of COVID-19.

Letting your customers spread out their payments with a buy now pay later installment plan—now widely available from providers such as Affirm, Klarna, or Sezzle—can offer them a real helping hand. And some of these providers will even take on the financial liability if your customer defaults, helping reduce your exposure to financial risk.

By offering buy now pay later options, you can deliver a stronger customer experience by offering them a payment option that helps them out, shows you understand, and supports your customers.

Be prepared for peak season surges

One last thing to keep in mind is something so important that we repeat it every peak holiday season:

Make sure your platform is ready to handle the kind of sales surge you hope to see this peak season. However, proceed with caution and prepare your site—the last thing you or your customers want is your platform crashing during a period of peak sales leaving you missing out on orders and harming the experience of your customers.

With that said, in our next blog, we’ll turn to how you can respond to the changing buying preferences and shopping patterns we’ve seen emerge during 2020.

Check out the white paper for more detailed information.

1451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, Voice of the Customer: Macroeconomic Outlook, Consumer Spending, April 2020