Your last-minute payments checklist for Black Friday

Things are looking up this holiday season in the UK. After a low-key 2020 in terms of customer spending, shoppers in the UK market are forecasted to spend a record amount this year. In fact, British consumers accounted for 10% of Black Friday searches, according to Statista, and they are forecasting a 20% increase in online sales and a 7.3% increase in-store.

And there’s still a little time left to prepare for the busy times ahead. To help make sure your business can handle the large volume of payments coming up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’ve put together a list (which we encourage you to check twice, even three times):

Prepare your store to support high-volume transactions

This year, consumers will take advantage of the opportunity to purchase Christmas presents early, so they don’t suffer from any shortages while also soaking up the Christmas atmosphere that was not present last year. Therefore any potential disruption during peak time can cost your business a lot of money. Check with your payment service provider what are their contingency plans to ensure your business will be up and running in the event of downtime. Moreover, consider choosing a payment provider with 24/7 customer support like TRU Connect so that a team of professionals is on standby in case of any issues, helping you swiftly restore service.

Be omi(channel)present

Multichannel selling is the way to go this year. Consider doubling down on the channel that has proven most profitable for your business during the holiday season if you have started testing selling on multiple channels. Use a payment gateway that will enable you to use social selling links so that customers can complete purchases on their preferred social media channel without having to leave the platform. You can also boost in-store sales by offering discounts for in-store purchases and collections.

Support multi-currency payments

As the UK travel restrictions have lifted, you might experience a wave of international customers in your physical store this Black Friday. It’s essential you use a POS terminal that allows customers to pay in their own currency. Our versatile counter-top and mobile POS devices support dynamic currency conversion both in-store and online and also allow for no foreign exchange risk to your business or customers. If you are mainly selling online, you can open your business to new international customers with targeted promotions for Black Friday. Subsequently, this could take them to a dedicated landing page featuring familiar currencies, languages, and payment methods.

Optimize your checkout process

Make your online payments a smooth process for your customers. This year, more than ever, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions are popular amongst consumers, so enabling them to purchase your products or services using this purchase method will increase your bottom line, especially amongst millennial audiences. In fact, over 44% of all UK consumers are now using BNPL for its ease and convenience, according to Finder. With this payment method, you can decrease cart abandonment, encourage first-time customers to make repeat purchases, and reduce chargebacks. If you are selling internationally, it’s essential to offer the right mix of payment options for each region during this holiday season, from all supported credit/debit card types to PayPal and cheques, so make sure your payment gateway will support you with this.

Mobile-first online and offline

Demand for mobile payments and digital wallets is growing, so it’s worth prioritising these as part of your enabled payment methods. Whether you are selling online or in-store, being mobile-first will help you provide a frictionless customer experience. During COVID-19, the consumer’s attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds, mainly due to our dependency on multiple screens. In-store customer preference leans towards convenience and transaction safety. Therefore most prefer to use contactless payment methods, mobile wallets or biometric payments to complete their purchase.

Avoid chargebacks and unnecessary returns

Use existing transactional data to streamline your purchase journey. Transactional data, including chargebacks, can help you spot gaps in your fulfilment, delivery, or returns process and help you take action to prevent future chargebacks. Make sure your return policy is transparent, fair, and well-communicated on your website to prevent unnecessary returns. Your confidence in your product and removal of risk might just convince on-the-fence customers to take the plunge.

We hope that this checklist provides you with most of what you need to know about this year’s sale events. Black Friday can be a great learning experience if this is your first time taking part as a goods and services supplier. And if you need a little extra help to get your payment processes in place, get in touch with our experienced team.