Payment Planning Tips to Kick-Start Your Holiday SeasonNovember 12, 2012 By Brian Goudie
Driven by consumers’ demand for greater access to information, offers and payment functionality anytime, anywhere, through any type of device, the lines between in-store commerce, e-commerce and mobile commerce are blurring. In this emerging environment of "universal commerce," the altered payments ecosystem clearly presents both challenges and opportunities for retailers. Therefore, it's absolutely crucial to prepare now for increased store traffic and sales opportunities during the holidays.
Many savvy retailers are already exploring and implementing the best approaches to maximize cross-channel sales success for the upcoming holiday season, including the following strategies for when the holiday rush hits:
1. Synchronize with the mobile movement. Universal commerce is emerging because consumers are leveraging technology in ways that change how commerce works. Mobile is driving this transformation, and retailers are turning to new technologies and smart devices to offer highly targeted service, value incentives and a consistent experience for consumers.
According to research from First Data, 44 percent of Americans use their phones to make purchases. The good news is that updating point-of-sale (POS) equipment to accept mobile payments is easier than most think. It may be a matter of upgrading software or simply adding a peripheral device to an existing system.
2. Embrace consumers with card-linked offers. Everyone loves a good deal. For retailers, opportunities to build business and loyalty exist with the growing popularity of offers programs, which include e-coupons, daily deals, and loyalty and group deals. According to the Coupon Facts Report from NCH Marketing, 78 percent of all U.S. consumers redeemed coupons in 2010.
Advanced solutions and new technologies enable retailers to electronically attach offers by linking them directly to any type of payment card for a streamlined and automated distribution and POS redemption process. Paper receipts of online offers or other coupons are no longer required; instead, consumers can link offers directly to a payment type of choice (e.g., credit, debit or mobile wallet) and redeem automatically when the card is swiped.