Americans spend billions of dollars every Small Business Saturday, and the right checkout experience and small business payment processor can make all the difference.
In an effort to give small businesses a boost during the holiday season, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 to encourage American consumers to shop locally on the day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The results were significant, and the proof is in the revenue. And now even international customers are getting in on the fun of shopping small. In the last year of data prior to supply chain interruption, 2019 saw 3M more consumers participating in Small Business Saturday than the year before, with a nearly $2B increase in total amount spent (SBA).
Why is Small Business Saturday Important?
According to the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, 95% of respondents reported that the impacts outlast the holiday season – even being aware of such a “holiday” makes consumers want to shop local or eat at small, independently-owned businesses all year long, not just during the holiday season. On top of that, people who are doing most of their shopping online or on their smartphones for Small Business Saturday are steadily increasing, spending $3.6B buying online last year alone (SBA).
The overwhelming success of Small Business Saturday makes it even more important for your small business to have a payment processor that provides an efficient, easy, and secure consumer experience that will encourage both your local customers and those overseas to return to your store long after the holidays have passed. Here are tips to increase your Small Business Saturday sales, both in-store and online.
Tips for Increasing Your Sales This Small Business Saturday
A great checkout experience can make – or break – your customer experience. That’s why whether you’re expecting a flood of customers in-person, online, or both you’ll want to make sure that your checkout experience is safe, easy, and makes your customers come back for more.
- In-store: On top of providing or requiring masks and hand sanitizing stations, small businesses will be contending with new consumer behaviors and preferences post-COVID. Offering contactless payments via mobile wallets, applications, and tap cards will be important to provide a sense of convenience and safety to those who choose to come visit your storefront.
- Online/E-Commerce: Cart abandonment is a constant concern for online vendors, and it can be especially difficult during high-volume days and for smaller businesses, like on Small Business Saturday. By providing a seamless customer experience throughout your online store, making shipping costs clear, and keeping checkout fast and easy, you can reduce cart abandonment and complete more sales. Nearly 50% of shoppers will abandon their carts if their preferred payment method isn’t available; business owners can mitigate that loss by using a small business payment processor that can accept a wide range of payment options (Booth, 2020).
- Both in-store and online: Customers who want to shop small and support local businesses both online and in-store will still want a checkout experience that is fast, easy, and secure, so they can pay when and how they want. Clear policies regarding refunds, returns, and shipping costs will prevent headaches down the road, and providing prices in multiple currencies will help those hoping to support local businesses while overseas. One often overlooked consideration is choosing the right payment processor to meet the expectations of this year’s customers.
Choosing the Right Payment Processor Can Make Your Small Business Saturday a Success
You’re probably aware that your payment processor manages the payment transaction process by acting as the mediator between your business and financial institutions. You also know that they can authorize transactions and facilitate the transfer of funds. But are you aware that some processors also provide solutions for card acceptance, anti-fraud and security solutions, customer support, growing your international customer base and other important services too?
- Accept more payment options and methods: The right small business payment processor helps merchants accept a wider range of payment options from those who want to shop local this Small Business Saturday. More payment methods and options in turn assist with customer retention, preventing cart abandonment, and even increase how much consumers spend on average (Red, 2019).
- Grow internationally: Businesses can not only cash in locally for Small Business Saturday, but also capture more of a global market if their payment processor is capable of accepting alternative payment methods and supporting multiple countries and currencies. Supporting multiple currencies enables merchants to expand their reach with their Small Business Saturday sales, extending the marketing to other countries and reaping the benefits.
- Make sure you and your customers stay safe: Fraud and cybersecurity issues increase around the holiday season, so security and compliance are issues that cannot be overlooked. Nearly 25% of consumers report being a victim of identity theft during the holidays, so now is an especially important time for businesses to be vigilant about protecting their customer’s personal information to avoid chargebacks (Stolba, 2020). Choosing a payment processor that meets international standards and has a reputation for high levels of security can mitigate risk for businesses as they see an increase in traffic both online and in-store.
Keep Your Customers Shopping Small Year-Round
By providing a fast, easy, and secure experience for customers during Small Business Saturday, small businesses have the opportunity to grow their brand and create more loyal customers around the world than ever before.
By offering contactless payment, a wide variety of payment options, and making payment as painless and secure as possible, many folks will leave the day wondering why they aren’t shopping small and local all year round. The right payment processor can make all the difference on how much you are able to capitalize on this day of special interest and help propel your business into the next year.
Booth, James (05 28 2020). How alternative payment methods can reduce online basket abandonment. ITProPortal. https://www.itproportal.com/features/how-alternative-payment-methods-can-reduce-online-basket-abandonment/
FIS Global. (08 25 2019). What is a payment processor? 5 important terms to know. https://www.fisglobal.com/en/insights/merchant-solutions-worldpay/article/what-is-a-payment-processor-5-important-terms-to-know
Red Technology. (04 19 2019). How payment flexibility can be crucial for increasing conversions, AOV and serving international markets. https://www.redtechnology.com/news-and-insights/How-payment-flexibility-can-be-crucial-for-increasing-conversions-AOV-and-serving-international-markets/
Stolba, Stefan. (2020). 1 in 4 Americans Report Falling Victim to Fraud During the Holidays. Experian. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/survey-some-consumers-would-risk-identity-theft-for-an-online-holiday-deal/
US Small Business Administration, SBA. (Unknown Unknown). SBA initiatives. https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/organization/sba-initiatives
US Small Business Administration, SBA. (Unknown Unknown). Nearly $20 billion spent by Americans this Small Business Saturday. https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/nearly-20-billion-spent-americans-small-business-saturday
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