amazon prime day

It’s Amazon Prime Day.

By Zavida Mangaru

For the longest time, Black Friday had a stranglehold on the retail marketplace for the biggest shopping day of the year. Cyber Monday has not-so-subtly pushed its way into prominence, with a reported $6.59 billion in digital transactions during the 2017 online shopping extravaganza, according to Adobe Insights in a CNBC article. With our growing dependency on ecommerce for speed and convenience, Amazon Prime Day is at the cusp of disrupting this order and becoming one of the largest shopping days of the year.

This disruption doesn’t mean small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) get left behind; they are just as capable of capitalizing on the power of mobile commerce, as evidenced by the $5.12 billion in online sales that took place on Small Business Saturday and Sunday in 2017.

Consumers have an attachment to their mobile devices, which enable purchase convenience and gratification. SMB business owners have many opportunities to capitalize on this movement. Don’t allow the perceived challenges to slow your progress—there are many resources available to help SMBs quickly ramp up an online presence. Then, continually review and optimize the essential details, like web page design, navigation organization, whitespace and payment acceptance.

Here is some guidance to help SMBs improve your online presence:

Don’t limit payment options—Cash doesn’t work on the web; however, that doesn’t mean you’re pigeon-holed to just using credit cards either. These days, consumers are using Apple Pay, Alipay, Samsung Pay, and more to pay for goods and services. Do some research on how your target demographic prefers to pay, and offer the best options for them.

Don’t require too much information at checkout—When it comes to checking out in a physical store, the customer typically doesn’t need anything but their method of payment to get their products and leave. The same experience should be available with ecommerce. Requiring lengthy forms or establishing payment accounts are bound to leave you with more than a few abandoned shopping carts.

Be transparent with fees—No one likes surprise costs at the end of the transaction. If you need to build in additional fees, like shipping, you should inform customers as early as possible in the shopping process. Otherwise, unexpected costs at the end of checkout could result in a lost sale.

Don’t “do it yourself” with payments—As a business owner, you have a plethora of responsibilities to make your business run efficiently. When it comes to payments, do the research and invest in an experienced, trustworthy processor with a secure online gateway. There are many options available for secure payment pages and ecommerce solutions that can provide an experience customized for your business and tailored to your customers.

Following these steps will help set your business up to capitalize on the rapidly-expanding ecommerce sales channel.

The SMB community provides tremendous goods and services to consumers—let’s help make sure they can get them anywhere and anytime they want online!

A 20-year payment technology veteran, Zavida Mangaru has served in leadership roles at Mastercard and American Express and is the current executive vice president of product strategy and innovation at North American Bancard.

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