With peak trading season just around the corner, we consider some principles to guide retailers’ response and get the most out of their payment partners.
In years past, the peaks of peak trading season were becoming steeper and closer together. They started early in the fourth quarter, driven by shopping events such as Amazon Prime Day in October and the Alibaba Group’s Singles’ Day in November. And then continued through Thanksgiving in the US, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, before picking up again pre- and post-Christmas.
The peaks and spend by channel may look slightly different this year. Behaviour changes as a result of the Covid-19 crisis mean that there will probably be less of a spike in online sales. Rather, a steady climb between now and the end of the year, as more everyday purchases, such as groceries and household items, as well as seasonal gifts are made online.
Most sectors have seen more than 10% growth in their online customer base during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to McKinsey research. The shift to e-commerce has been particularly noticeable in countries starting from a lower base of online shoppers. For example, consumers in the US spent more online during Covid lockdown in April and May than during the 2019 holiday season, according to Adobe.
Calculate your capacity requirements now and speak with your payment service provider. If you are unable to accept payment from customers at any time, it will directly affect your bottom line. Lean on your payments partner at this time. They should have 100% availability across more than one data centre as standard. And offer full redundancy, meaning there is back-up to every component.
You don’t want to lose customers for the simple reason that they can’t pay you. So, provide multiple payment options. PXP Financial offers customers integrations to major international card brands, local schemes, bank transfers, e-wallets and instalment options. That’s in addition to sector-specific payment methods for the gaming and other industries.
Also, consider pricing in local currencies. If you sell globally, then pricing locally removes payment friction. Which helps maximise conversion and minimise cart abandonment. Our multi-currency management solution supports any currency, so you can make customers feel at home whenever and wherever they shop online with you. We’ll take care of the rest.
What does normal look like for your business and customers? Examine typical sales patterns by volume and value, sales channel and geography. Similarly, review activity by user — account creation, logins and updates — to baseline normal. Unless your marketing team have been particularly active with promotions, any deviations from the norm should raise a red flag and warrant a follow-up.
When it comes to fraud prevention, make the best of what you’ve got and draw on the support of your payments partner. With peak season just around the corner, it’s not really the time to be rolling out anything brand-new. There’s plenty you can do with good business-as-usual fraud alerts.
A concentration of sales from a narrow range of IP addresses or a mis-match between IP addresses and delivery addresses or pickup locations could suggest bogus orders. Multiple accounts on a single device or connected to a single e-mail address should raise suspicions. Block obviously doubtful transactions, such as unusual bulk orders or those from questionable countries.
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