Boerne, TX – This holiday season, experts are predicting fewer profits for businesses and more cybercrime. New reports on holiday shopping show Americans are going to spend less now through the end of the year because most consumers and more than 90% of CEOs – believe the economy is headed into a recession. Insider Intelligence predicts online sales will rise just 9.4% to $1 trillion; the first-time growth has slipped into single digits. At the same time, online fraud always explodes around the holidays.
Even though high inflation will cause some consumers to play the role of Scrooge, experts at software company Red Maple have four tips for retailers to increase sales this holiday:
Keep it simple. Make shopping an easy, fun experience online and in person. That means clear navigation channels with a seamless path to checkout. Ensure customers can easily shop on their phones and tablets since three out of every four dollars spent online in 2022 is made with a mobile device.
Experts also recommend a succinct menu, an easy-to-find search bar and top-selling items at the top of the homepage. The checkout process is also critical. One survey says that 21% of U.S. shoppers leave their shopping carts because of a long, complicated checkout process. Don’t require people to create an account. Instead, offer guest checkout for first-time customers who may not trust your business yet. Give customers several easy payment options like Apple and Google Pay as well as credit cards. Offer flexible payment options like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) and Pay overtime. Customers used these payment methods 20% more in 2021 than in 2020.
Make it worth their while. Customer incentives can drive customer loyalty. Conversely, when you don’t treat repeat customers as special, you can lose their business. Here are the facts that drive those conclusions:
- 75% of customers favor companies that offer rewards.
- More than half of U.S. consumers have left a brand they were loyal to for a competitor that better met their needs.
- 48% of people expect specialized treatment for being a good customer.
In an economy where every dollar counts, for some consumers, they are more likely going to buy something at a store where they get a reward, loyalty discount or cash back.
Make it an experience. From the moment your customer lands on your website, they should be enticed by engaging pictures and content. Use explainer videos to show how easy products and services work, and graphics that offer step-by-step instructions. Also, have someone available to answer questions via chat, chatbots with the option to be transferred to live support and phone numbers to reach customer service representatives during store hours.
Also, make the return experience easy and convenient by allowing online customers to drop off returns in-store and offering contactless return kiosks like those at Kohl’s stores. Prominently display your return policy and include instructions about how gift recipients can reuse original shipping and packaging for returns. The numbers are startling about the importance of online returns. More than 60% of shoppers would continue shopping at a store after a good return experience, while 65% would stop buying after a poor experience, according to the NRF.
Make it safe for shoppers. Just like consumers, criminals love the holidays and take advantage of busy, distracted shoppers and fatigued retailers. That’s why retailers should put as much effort into cybersecurity as any other shopping enhancement. It’s already a $6 trillion a year global problem. By the year 2025, expert’s expect cybercrime damages will reach $10.5 trillion a year. The best way to protect your company and your customers from theft, fraud and data breaches is with software like Clever Division by Red Maple. The security product safeguards customer credit card numbers simply by not storing them. Instead, Clever Division uses two-factor authentication to collect and confirm the information without ever writing the entire credit card number into a database.
While experts say ransomware attacks increased 600% globally in the last two years, your business won’t be a target with Clever Division. With the software, businesses will never need to store personal information again, leaving the cybercriminals nothing to take and hold hostage. Unfortunately, a survey last year shows 83% of organizations hit by a ransomware attack gave in to attackers’ demands and lost millions.
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About Red Maple
Red Maple™ specializes in developing turnkey solutions that natively expand the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics™ AX and Dynamics 365 for Operations. Globally deployed by 500+ companies, Red Maple’s solutions offer Extensions and Additions to AX. Advanced Extensions support complex business processes for credit cards, commissions, workflow, and recurring billing (including maintenance, usage, and royalties). Their Horizontal Additions add new capabilities for revenue recognition, warranty management, chargeback claims management and mobile workflow. Red Maple also provides industry specific solutions for both retail and software distribution. The company’s Advanced Credit Card solution enables businesses to securely accept and process credit card payments using native integration without hidden costs. Using pre-integration with multiple processors and gateways, Red Maple provides an omni-channel experience with processing from native client, Retail (mPOS/ePOS) and integration with numerous e-commerce engines.