holiday retail

By Rey Pasinli

Gone are the days when selling online was reserved for big-box merchants and giant retailers like Best Buy and Amazon.  Now, more and more businesses are going online to sell their wares—be they T-shirts, books, mugs, or holiday fruit pies.  In fact, selling online is now expected by most customers and is the life-blood of many small businesses. To boost your small business website’s ecommerce sales this holiday season, try these tips.

  1. Spice up your video: Videos can be an incredibly powerful tool for boosting online sales. We’ve seen videos increase conversions by up to 400%!  But be sure to put some time into the creation and presentation of your video.  Rather than a boring embed, consider spicing it up.  Treepodia has a cool tool that converts static product images into a 15-second video clip. Another cutting-edge video tool is Vimation, which converts the last frame of a video into a buy page.
  2. Loyalty programs: Try incorporating a virtual gift or loyalty card program tino your existing website. Gift cards are terrific stocking stuffers and 50% of gift cards recipients spend more than the value of the gift card. Loyalty programs are intended to reward customers for repeat business. “BOGO” (buy one, get one free) or “free shipping” are excellent ways to reward your biggest spenders and continue to drive them back to the store repeatedly.
  3. Keep it secure:  Unfortunately, the rapid spread of ecommerce has meant the spread of fraudsters who prey on the uninformed.  For credit card and ID validation, consider Jumio.  Basically, a customer can snap a picture of their driver’s license or credit card using either a smartphone or a PC webcam. This makes for powerful fraud scrubbing, as it can be used to easily authenticate any transaction before shipping occurs. Or try Device Fingerprinting, which enables merchants to better authenticate their consumers and spot fraud easily, in real time.
  4. Keep info current: 8% of recurring credit card decline is due to expired cards, address changes, name changes, etc.  Consider using Account Updater which appends card data with the latest info so these types of declines can be avoided.
  5. Find an online payment system that’s right for you: Whether you’re collecting cards in a retail setting, processing cards on a smartphone, or setting up an online shopping cart or gateway, you’ll want to select your online payment system carefully.  For example, for those increasingly popular smartphone transactions, consider

Rey Pasinli is executive director of credit card processing and merchant services firm Total-Apps (Total Advanced Payment Processing Solutions).  Total-Apps provides custom ecommerce solutions to their clients in order to maximize revenues, increase consumer loyalty and eliminate the pain points of online processing.