Last year, they said October was “the new December.” And this year’s holiday shopping season started even sooner, in anticipation of holiday supply shortages caused by the industry effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Retail giant Amazon started promoting Black Friday sales events in mid-October, more than a month before the actual day.
So, let’s talk about holiday shopping, how it might affect your business and customers differently this year.
COVID-19 has done many things to change how we interact with the world in the last few years. And when it comes to holiday shopping, there’s a lot to contend with. It’s not safe or recommended to be in big crowds this year, as last year, because new variants are spreading through the US and vaccinations are a tough topic. This, and the rapid digitization most businesses went through to keep themselves going through the rolling shutdowns means that online shopping is an exceedingly attractive option for holiday shoppers this year.
In a Pymnts retrospective holiday survey of the 2020 shopping season, 83.1% of respondents say they ordered at least some of their gifts online.
The one downside is that while we’ve been busy moving things to online platforms, cybersecurity threats grew right alongside them. Large-scale cybersecurity incidents have increased by 273% since the beginning of the pandemic.
Having a secure and trustworthy payment system is a necessity no matter what time of year, payment fraud is one of the top common cyber threats during the holidays, according to TechSolve.
Staying compliant with payment regulations and the latest updates in software and platform integrations is a necessary headache this holiday shopping season.
FedEx, UPS, and the USPS have released their 2021 holiday shipping deadlines, but if you are a product-based business, it is recommended that you increase transparency about in-stock dates and shipping expectations for your own processes to reduce customer complaints and product returns.
Not only is this year’s holiday shopping season getting an early start, but many businesses have and will be affected by widespread labor shortages. If you are looking to help your business successfully weather this happiest season, you’ll need to evaluate your employee numbers and capabilities ahead of the rush.
Are there processes, like your payments system, that could be streamlined or automated? We would recommend you do that as soon as possible. Many businesses are also expecting to restructure schedules and duties to better align with heavy online traffic and more spread-out holiday shopper crowds.
ReliaFund – The Gift Small Businesses Can Give Themselves This Holiday
Small and medium-sized businesses are gaining market share, and the holidays are no exception. Many new businesses created or revamped their online presence this year, and that means your business doesn’t have time to combat payment issues or lengthy billing processes.
Holiday shopping is a huge opportunity for big and small businesses alike, and you deserve your piece of the pie. ReliaFund can help make sure you get it.
With no-sweat gateways, ReliaFund’s platform makes payment processing software integrations simple. Save time, money, and frustration with us so you can get back to enjoying the holidays, too.
Contact us to learn more.