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South State Bank

How to prepare for a pandemic holiday

We’re headed toward a holiday shopping season with a lot of unknowns. But one thing is for sure, the influx of digital transactions will be unlike anything businesses have experienced in previous years – and will include many shoppers who have only recently waded into digital waters for shopping and service.

Now is the time make sure your business is prepared. Is your payment experience is simple and intuitive enough for people not fluent at buying online? If not, now is the time to course-correct.

Keep checkout simple

  • Offer a straight forward ‘guest’ checkout. Studies show that having to create or sign in to an account to make a purchase can significantly contribute to cart abandonment, as does too many checkout pages and too much personal information requested.1 Just keep it simple.
  • Offer one-click payment for repeat customers. For the ultimate in simplicity, offer one-click payment for repeat customers. By allowing the cardholder to save their payment card on file, they can check out again in the future without the need for additional authentication whenever they click ‘pay now’.
  • Make checkout mobile-friendly. More than half of all online traffic comes from mobile devices these days.2 As more customers use their smartphones to make purchases, it becomes increasingly important to cater to mobile users. They should keep in mind that a mobile checkout page should mimic their traditional website navigation since shoppers often jump between the two during different phases of their engagement.

Let customers personalize their checkout

  • Offer curbside in-store pickup for online purchases. Not everyone wants to deal with shipping, and these days, consumers are missing the tangible engagement with local businesses they frequent. In fact, curbside pickup as an option is increasingly attributed to exceptional customer service.3
  • Offer multiple payment options. If customers head to checkout only to see they can’t use their preferred payment method, they won’t feel comfortable completing their purchase. Websites should be enabled to accept the most popular credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets, and credible payment services such as PayPal.

Build consumer’s trust

  • Be clear about the return policy. Is all Returns messaging easily understandable to someone who isn’t a digital native? Keep the policy description straight forward and concise. Confusion can contribute to cart abandonment or chargebacks. Plus, be easy to contact if customers have questions.
  • Display trust seals. Show prospective customers that their sensitive payment information is safe by displaying logos that show the website site is legitimate, secure and validated by a third party. Especially for start-ups or small-to-medium-size businesses looking to build a strong customer base, trust seals are effective way to boost customer peace of mind.

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