This is guest blog is written by iQmetrix integrated partner PayBright.
The most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching. Are you ready?
Before you answer, it’s important to know that the 2021 holiday shopping season is already shaping up to be different from 2020. This year, holiday shopping is starting earlier due to supply chain concerns, meaning stores — physical and digital — are expected to be busier than ever.
As a retailer, you should be looking to leverage this change in customer behavior. But how can your stores maximize revenue while giving customers the holiday shopping experience they are looking for? PayBright, an iQmetrix integrated partner, offers some tips below.
Check your stock and your supply chain
Quite simply, make it a point to know your inventory inside out before the holidays hit. You don’t want to raise consumer expectations unnecessarily, and knowing exactly what your stock room looks like will give your sales staff confidence that they can effectively manage customer expectations. It is vital to perform a thorough health check on your supply chain to make sure it’s functioning properly and be prepared for any potential delays. Communicate with your suppliers regularly to identify any risks.
Customer-proof your website
Though a website overhaul is not the optimal holiday task, there are a few ways to improve your business’s digital presence that will make a big impact on the customer’s experience.
- Website load speed and navigation: If your website is too sluggish, confusing, or leads to too many 404 pages, you may be setting yourself up to lose your biggest-spending customers to your better-equipped competitors. Consider adjusting image sizes if your pages load too slowly, and removing dead-end links so customers always find what they’re looking for.
- Product pages: Make sure the information is rich, up to date, and includes specs. Customers should be able to view all information in one place so they can finish their research before completing a purchase.
- Customer reviews: According to Trustpilot, over 88% of consumers trust online reviews when they want to make informed purchases. And the purchase likelihood for a product with just five reviews is 270% greater than one without.
- Return and exchange policies: Ensure these are robust, accurate, and up to date. Why? 72% of consumers said they’d spend more and buy more often with merchants that make the return experience as simple as possible, with 89% of repeat customers saying they would buy again if they had a solid return experience.
Give your website a glow-up
Once you’ve made tactical updates that make visiting your website a smooth, streamlined experience, you will want to focus on some aesthetic changes. To compete in a crowded online marketplace, you’ve got to have a great site. So, look for ways to punch up all the details, including:
- Product descriptions: Are they clear, complete, compelling, and error-free? Are tech specs and details easy to find? Do you display product reviews?
- Product photos: Are they the best they can be? Do they show all color options for all devices?
- Inventory status: Does your inventory show the real-time status of products and online visitors? Add an “Only X number left” to high-demand items or include an “X number of people are looking at this now” feature to create urgency.
Sort out shipping
The pandemic has put stress on every delivery service available. Do your homework now to ensure you’re working with the most reliable company with a few potential delays as possible. Avoid the wrath of unhappy customers by posting clear order deadlines on your home page to manage expectations. For example: “Order by December 1st to ensure delivery by December 24th.”
Promote gift cards
In a year when inventory and supply chains are uncertain, gift cards have never been more attractive. Make gift cards a destination on your website by adding a prominent ‘gift card’ tab on your home page that makes it easy to purchase and give.
Offer payment plans
The holiday season can be a financially fraught time. Alleviate the monetary burden for your customers by providing flexible payment plans. These supply chain concerns, coupled with customers making up for lost time with last year’s muted holiday celebrations, means they are eager to spend. However, they also don’t want to break the bank. As a result, nearly half of consumers will be looking to actively manage their holiday budget this year. Budgeting is one of the primary reasons consumers will consider looking for options to buy now and pay later.
PayBright offers two basic plans, neither of which will impact your customers’ credit scores:
- Pay in 4: Customers get instant approval and make four, interest-free biweekly payments for their purchase.
- Pay monthly: Customers enter a few fields of information for approval and make monthly payments for their purchases.
What’s in it for you? Better sales conversion, a higher average order value, more repeat customers, and no risk (you get paid upfront).
Increase annual sales revenue
Telling your customers that you offer PayBright early in their shopping journey — which begins well before checkout — can make all the difference. Promoting the option to buy with PayBright on product display pages, email campaigns, or banner ads has proven effective for many PayBright partners.
Adding PayBright at checkout can also give your business a competitive advantage while providing customers with a more manageable way to shop for the holidays.
For marketing visibility, retailers have featured PayBright as a payment option throughout the shopping experience, providing a customer’s payment breakdown alongside the total purchase price. This helps drive conversion as consumers know they can break up the cost.
Small changes make a big impact
There are many ways retailers can prepare for the holidays and put themselves in the best position to serve their customers during the busy season. The ways your store can surprise and delight customers this holiday season can be broken down into 3 key takeaways:
- Keep the customer top of mind by optimizing your site’s banners, product pages, and checkout. Bonus points if you have omnichannel offerings to connect e-commerce and in-store experiences such as curbside pickup and queue management.
- Make sure you’ve stocked up on your most popular items and sort out any potential shipping issues.
- Be mindful of your customers’ budgets and holiday spending by offering flexible payment options like Pay in 4 or Pay Monthly.
For more information on supporting your customers and their changing expectations, explore what PayBright has to offer.