How to Prepare for Seasonal Sales with Your Payment Acquirer
Seasonal sales represent a big opportunity for increased revenue and growth. Major events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas can have a significant impact on transaction volumes. Businesses poised to capture this spend must make payments as frictionless as possible for customers, and ensure there are no obstacles that can negatively impact profits.
But, seasonal sales can also be a stress point for businesses. A lack of preparation can lead to payment failures, higher fraud, missed sales opportunities, and frustrated customers. To successfully navigate these seasonal highs, it’s important to have a solid plan in place. Payment acquirers can play a pivotal role in this process as they can help ensure that all transactions are seamlessly processed, no matter where they are coming from or how high the volume is.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can prepare for seasonal sales by choosing the right payment acquirer to ensure a smooth and profitable experience for seasonal sales.
Choosing the right payment acquirer
Payment acquirers are financial institutions or service providers that play a role in processing electronic payment transactions. They can also be referred to as merchant acquirers, acquiring banks, merchant banks. They act as intermediaries between the merchant, the customer’s bank and card networks like Visa.
When selecting a payment acquirer, companies should keep in mind the importance of acquirer scalability. The right acquirer will be robust enough to handle high-volume seasons, and will be able to adapt quickly to a business’s growing needs. This includes geographic reach as well as transaction volume.
Plan early to boost seasonal sales
You’ve waited a long time for this key calendar moment and undoubtedly invested a lot to get your customers to the point of payment, so it’s critical that you do what it takes to make the sale. Time must be set aside in advance to plan out an approach for peak sales season, and payments must be part of this from the first stage of planning.
It’s good practice to create a “Peak Season Readiness Checklist." Tasks may include:
Predicting your peak transaction volume
Considering the geographical spread of your customer base
Identifying the payment methods you want to offer
Ensuring that your checkout page works on all devices
Studying any points of weakness, for example by stress-testing your payments systems
Looking into payment data to spot issues like false declines, authorisation rates, fraud rates and chargebacks
Preparing teams and resources to provide support so that payment failures can be avoided
Customising payment options for seasonal trends
People are busy in the run-up to the holiday season, and they may not have the patience to complete a transaction if any friction is introduced to the process. Research has shown that 87% of online shoppers will abandon their shopping carts during checkout if the process was too difficult. One way of reducing cart abandonment rates during the holidays is to offer a wide range of payment methods.
Apart from accepting payments from the major payment schemes like Visa, Mastercard and American Express, there are also local payment methods to consider. Not all types of payment are equally as popular around the world, and some markets rely heavily on local payment methods. To ensure an equally frictionless experience no matter the geographical location of your customer, this should be a part of your seasonal strategy in order to maximise this peak sales period.
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options make bigger purchases more affordable to more people, and introduces more flexibility to the payment process. Mobile payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay can also help people complete transactions at a time when they are unusually busy and may not have the patience for filling out personal and banking information forms for each purchase.
Combat fraud during holiday sales
A huge spike in online store traffic can also bring more fraud. While security is a shared responsibility between you and your payment acquirer, companies may want to create and implement a series of seasonal security protocols to handle increased fraud attempts during peak seasons.
When developing seasonal security protocols, it’s important to be aware of any legal authentication requirements, like Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) in Europe and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements, which are relevant in the US, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Other countries have their own regulatory frameworks, for example, Japan’s Payment Services Act and Banking Act and South Korea’s Electronic Financial Transactions Act.
While it’s important for companies to do everything they can to boost security, they should also ensure a smooth payment process that eliminates payments being incorrectly declined.
Payment acquirers can help boost seasonal profits
Seasonal sales can be game-changers for annual revenue, and it’s important to remove any barriers in the way of these opportunities. In addition to getting frameworks in place to boost sales, the right payment acquirers can also help you reduce costs, so that your profit margins aren’t eroded.
The cost of payments is an overhead expense that can be overlooked, but it is a considerable one. Expensive currency conversions, international transaction costs, and the fees associated with regular domestic payments can quickly mount up. To boost net profits from seasonal sales, take the opportunity to ensure that your payment stack is as cost-effective as possible for both domestic and international sales.
How Airwallex can help you hit your seasonal profit goals
Airwallex is a global financial technology company that offers businesses a single platform to effortlessly accept, hold and spend funds both locally and globally. Airwallex offers Global Accounts to help your business operate globally including payment acquirer services. With just a single log-in and all your financial data visible at a glance, it’s easy to gain insights from your financial information that can be turned into action to boost sales.
Airwallex prides itself on its truly global-first approach to business payments. Payments can be accepted from customers in 180+ countries and regions through 160+ payment methods and held in multi-currency accounts so you can pay out from held balances to avoid forced conversions. Where currency conversion is necessary, Airwallex also offers market-leading FX rates and no hidden fees.
Learn more about how Airwallex can help you expand internationally here.
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