6 Practices to Prepare for E-Selling on Black Friday
Each Friday following Thanksgiving, we experience one of the most emblematic commercial events of the year: Black Friday. If we all have seen videos showing customers rushing to buy a new TV or a smartphone at a competitive price, what we don’t see is that for the past few years, it is similarly the case of e-commerce sites. A study by Deloitte, predicts that worldwide, e-commerce sales will increase by 11 to 15%, compared to 2020, during the holiday season 2021–2022, reaching 218 billion. That implies that all merchants are fighting to get the biggest share in the market, which comes with an increased pressure not to miss a SINGLE transaction.
Because they could not handle unusual traffic, many sites have lost a great percentage of their annual turnover, sometimes at the checkout level. If a merchant has managed to bring a customer to the end of the purchase tunnel, it would be a pity if everything dropped at the checkout because the built-in payment solution did not work or that the customer simply decided to withdraw payment because she could not find the payment method he often uses.
Market Pay’s positioning as a payment solution provider for retailers has allowed us to learn from the common mistakes made by e-retailers. This has led to a series of best practices when choosing a payment solution. This list aims at helping you take a step back and analyze the situation :
Practice #1: Use a reliable, secure PSP, ensuring stability in case of traffic peaks or a payment orchestrator
The advantage of a payment orchestrator is that it provides continuous service in the event of traffic disruption on a PSP. By setting up a viable routing strategy, you eliminate any possibility of churn or cart abandonment due to a technical problem or an attack.
Practice #2: Optimize your PSD2 exemption requests while controlling fraud levels
Whether it’s Black Friday or during the sales season, transaction volume is increasing, and so is the fraud rate. Customers are driven to make more purchases and for higher than average amounts. “In France, 77% of French people plan to make Christmas purchases during Black Friday. 24% of French consumers plan to buy household appliances, 17% smartphones, 15% computers and music devices, 10% tablets and 7% TVs during Black Friday,” according to a Bonia study conducted in 2021. It is therefore important to find a balance between managing PSD2 exemptions to make the customer journey smooth (frictionless) while controlling the level of fraud. On the other hand, the merchant must re-evaluate the thresholds for triggering the anti-fraud rules, depending on the purchase category, with the risk of letting a little more fraud through.
Practice #3: Offer a dynamic payment page with a range of payment methods relevant to your business
A customer arriving on an e-commerce site and wishing to pay via a particular method will surely feel frustrated if he does not find this method. Indeed, he will be forced to use another method and will spend more time at the checkout. The goal for e-retailer is to make this step as fluid and easy as possible for the buyer , to ensure a pleasant experience that would help maximize the retention rate.
A page should therefore be adapted to the merchant’s context but also to its business needs. A restaurant offering meal tickets is more likely to have more customers than one that does not. Similarly, in these times, when shoppers are taking advantage of good deals to buy Christmas gifts, many employers offer gift cards to be used in several e-commerce sites. The greater the choice of payment methods, the more likely the customer is to complete the payment.
Practice #4: Adopt an omnichannel strategy and create a seamless customer experience regardless of the entry channel
Omnichannel is no longer just a buzzword but a reality. Many merchants have understood the challenge of offering a similar shopping experience regardless of the distribution channel to ensure brand loyalty.
Retailers who have adopted a 360° vision and strategy regarding their customers have ensured a very high additional turnover, which has allowed them to innovate and acquire new customers.
In payment, one of the wishes frequently raised by customers is the possibility to refund an item in store following an online purchase to avoid paying additional shipping costs. In the same way, some customers having bought in physical stores, not being able to go back to the store to return an item, are looking for a simple way to be reimbursed remotely. The use cases are multiple but what is sure is that by answering them, we generate a high customer satisfaction and we lead some buyers to become ambassadors of the brand.
Practice #5: Implement an additional distribution channel for remote customers
During the COVID crisis, we noticed that many retailers found themselves with customers who were unable to make an e-commerce purchase or who could not visit the store. This trend has been growing steadily and is becoming part of today’s habits. This segment of customers was looking for a way to make purchases despite these constraints, and the only solution they had was telephone ordering. The way to retrieve banking information was not always secure and merchants needed a way to make payment occur.
The payment by link has become the miracle solution for many merchants to overcome this issue and meet this need. Indeed, there is no need to ask for a customer’s bank details anymore, you just have to send a link by email, SMS, or WhatsApp, to complete the purchase. Not only does this make the transaction easier and more secure for the customer, but it also provides the merchant with a distribution channel that ensures additional sales.
Practice #6: Enable financing for customers requiring split payments
According to a June 2020 OpinionWay/Oney study, 48% of French people want to use deferred (21%), installment payment (35%) or financing (21%) solutions more frequently to make their purchases. Split payments (called Buy Now Pay Later) are one of the fastest growing payment services in France and worldwide. In the last few years, we have seen an increase in the number of players offering different payment methods ranging from 2 times to more than 36 times for some.
A Poulpeo study in 2020, reveals that the average budget per buyer is around 330€ (+91€ vs 2019). Merchants should allow their customers to benefit from a payment installment in order to be able to buy several items, to pay in all serenity their purchases, mainly made in preparation for Christmas. For the merchant, this service would allow them to acquire new customers, to increase the turnover and the cross-sell/up-sell share, and finally to generate loyalty. A satisfied customer is generally a loyal customer who will not hesitate to buy again.
The merchant must be able to rely on a partner that allows him to propose the most appropriate modality to her customer’s needs, to the value of the average basket while maintaining an optimal acceptance rate.
At Market Pay, we have decided to be agnostic of a fractional payment provider. Our desire is to adapt to the needs of the merchant and her customers and to provide the most appropriate market solutions. On the other hand, we have decided to accept suppliers who provide 100% financing to the merchant, thus freeing him from all the constraints linked to the final customers and allowing him to better manage his cash flow and accounting.
We hope you enjoyed reading our practices, and learning from our experience. We are looking forward to hearing your feedback regarding this period. It is not usually the easiest one of the year, pressure is high, customers are demanding and impatient. In all cases, Market Pay’s teams are always available to get your ideas, questions and requests. Our products helped several merchants reach their targets in terms of conversion rate, acceptance rate, lower the fraud rate, the error rate and maintain a great satisfaction from the clients.