Kenny Tsang, Managing Director of global FinTech PingPong Payments, looks at the current e-commerce trends and advises sellers on approaching the upcoming festive period.
As the holiday season comes around again – with it, so do some of the most critical days in a seller’s calendar. Though the behemoths of Black Friday and Cyber Monday still loom large over Thanksgiving weekend, this year, 31% of U.S. consumers have begun holiday shopping earlier than ever before, and online sellers will bear the brunt of premature shoppers’ sales. And with global online sales predicted to hit $4.2 trillion this year, reducing the risk of disruption to sales is critical: sellers will need to be agile and implement effective systems in advance to get the most out of the holiday spending period.
Before Thanksgiving weekend and the Christmas rush, sellers will need to craft a resilient global e-commerce strategy to take advantage of the enormous revenue opportunity in the fourth quarter. This growing seller community can cash in on the upcoming holiday period by addressing three key pillars of their online selling strategy. A robust, reliable supply chain and seamless selling experience is the name of the game, and sellers shouldn’t skimp on preparation in this banner year for e-commerce.
- Prioritize engagement and elevate payments
Engaging and staying connected with customers is paramount in encouraging them to return to your business. To influence consumers’ choices, prioritizing your online presence and engagement on social media is one way to maximize revenue: as consumers subconsciously gravitate to your products based on online interactions. Social media is no longer simply a space for connecting with friends, and smart sellers will appreciate and profit from the retail opportunities that this kind of engagement has to offer.
But customer engagement goes beyond simply filling your feed with content. Customers today expect a fast, seamless digital process, from purchase to payment. Creating an accessible Amazon business page or website will demystify delivery and pay protocols in one fell swoop, relieving any stress on the part of your customer. Quick and simple processes will attract more customers to your site and products, and in turn, you will maximize your profits over the holiday season.
To increase the likelihood of loyal buyers and limit cart abandonment, methods such as offering flexible return policies and preferred payments methods are imperative. Return and exchange options give customers more incentive to buy a product during the holidays, with the added safety net of getting their money back or swapping gifts, if needed. In addition, adapting to different consumer demands, and making life easier for the buyer, will encourage repeat custom and improved marketplace reviews and ratings.
- Be aware of e-commerce changes
Merchants should also be aware of any significant changes made to the online experience close to or during the holiday rush that may affect customer satisfaction. For example, new and loyal buyers alike would be frustrated trying to navigate an entirely new or bug-ridden site at any time, let alone during the busiest period of the year. Though a website interface and purchasing journey are essential here, a key area of focus for sellers must be payments for customers and suppliers. Wondering how to juggle the organization of payments to customers and suppliers at once? There’s no need: employ a payment provider to do it for you.
Effective payment providers will serve as a backend infrastructure in e-commerce, with seamless plug-and-play features. This proves useful amongst e-commerce sellers that are mid-sized players: even fast-growing ones who still produce lean operations. The pandemic has taught sellers that being agile in an in-flux environment is the best growth path, and a good payment provider will lift the burden of payment management from your shoulders and enable you to focus on strategy.
- Diversify your supply strategy
Sellers should also be aware of the ramifications of an unreliable supply chain in this busy time and prepare for the shifting desires of the modern consumer. A forward-thinking business owner will assess trending, anticipate the top-selling products, and tap into new, lucrative markets.
The more markets a seller is aware of and prepared for, the greater the revenue opportunity they’ll have as they reach a higher threshold of buyers on different platforms. Broader engagement to different audiences will also increase the likelihood of sellers accessing more reliable buyers who cost less to service.
It will be essential for sellers to have access to reliable suppliers when it comes to supply chains. Without solid and dependable support from a diverse network of suppliers, a seller will flounder in this year’s intensely competitive market.
The straightforward solution is to perfect your cross-border payments process and handle any fluctuations in customer demand in what is expected to be the busiest festive season on record. Intelligent businesses will understand the need for a cross-border payments partner focused on e-commerce that offers real-time rates with no hidden fees for merchants and customers.
Perfect your payments, increase your profits
This holiday season, perfecting your payments process is the bottom line in increasing your business’s bottom line. Payment partners ensure that customers and suppliers alike maintain a productive relationship with your business, wherever they are in the world.
A trustworthy cross-border payment partner ensures that suppliers receive same-day payments eliminating delays or disruptions to payments and goods on either end of the transaction. In the process, merchants benefit from the added security in obtaining high-quality manufactured inventory quickly – to maximize sales.
From money exchanges in real-time and reduced wire-transfer costs, it’s time you elevate your cross-border payments process to new heights. With the right payments partner, the results in doing so will leave you feeling relieved, rather than scratching your head.