How to Grow Your Business Over the Holiday Season

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The markets predicted healthy consumer spending this year and with Black Friday sales kicking off a week early, holiday peak is off to a fast start. If you’re a small business owner or self-employed, this means you’re on the cusp of what could be one of the biggest shopping periods to date.

Preparation is key for ensuring successful holiday sales, from checking your technology, such as your website, to having a standout marketing plan with promotions. However, it’s not too late to ensure a smooth payments experience with your customers. Here are some tips that we’ve partnered with PayPal on to help your business thrive this season.

Increasing Conversion Online and Mobile

Mobile commerce is big and it’s growing, with U.S. mobile and tablet commerce sales forecasted to total $142 billion in 2016 (Source: Forrester Research). Also, this Cyber Monday will mark the summit of the shopping season once again, and PayPal expects more than $25,000 in Total Payment Volume (TPV) per second at peak of Cyber Monday– with 40% of Millennials planning to shop on a mobile device that day.

One of the ways that PayPal helps businesses of all sizes is by reducing shopping cart abandonment and helping to increase conversion. Just add the Express Checkout button in about 15 minutes by copying and pasting a few lines of code onto your site. The improved Express Checkout experience features PayPal One Touch which lets your customers skip entering their username, password, and billing information when they check out. Simplifying this last mile is critical on every platform, but even more important on mobile to turn an ‘on the go browse’ into a sales conversion.

An additional element in minimizing shopping cart abandonment is to offer customers a choice of payment options. Working with a platform such as PayPal allows merchants to streamline payments, while giving the customer choice of card and payment type. PayPal is a one-stop shop that can process all major credit cards while allowing you to offer PayPal. Giving consumers payment flexibility is critical. PayPal Credit[1], for instance, gives customers the ability to pay over time with merchants who otherwise would not be able to offer promotional financing to consumers.

Small Business Lending Options

Cash is the lifeblood of any small business and locking-in finances to prepare for the holidays is a critical concern. There are lines of credit, balance sheet lenders, and even peer-to-peer and crowdfunding platforms that businesses can apply for. Knowing your expected sales and the inventory needed to achieve your targets are key to choosing your financial tools to get to optimize success.

Many U.S. PayPal merchants can financially prepare and execute their holiday sales strategies by getting access to cash for their business through a PayPal Working Capital business loan.  PayPal Working Capital loans are based primarily on a merchant’s PayPal account history, with repayments coming from a percentage of the merchant’s daily sales through PayPal[2]. For merchants with a strong track record of sales but who lack a long-term financial history needed for traditional bank loans, this is a great alternative. The online application and funding, if approved, can take just minutes.

Value-Added Services

Merchants can offer value-added services to sweeten the sale and encourage customers to transact. This includes offering free return shipping and customer protection to increase the likelihood of shopping cart conversion. With 9 out of 10 consumers stating that their No. 1 incentive to shop online is free shipping[3], it would be remiss to not provide it. PayPal’s Return Shipping On Us reimburses shoppers on eligible return shipping this holiday season. This service comes at no additional costs and gives all shoppers using their PayPal account the flexibility to return unfavorable purchases[4].

Lastly but certainly not the least, during the holiday season, it’s important to protect your data and reputation by protecting your customer's sensitive credit card details. Through PayPal, you can ensure that you’re meeting the requirements under PCI Compliance. Trust is essential for any e-commerce business.

For more helpful tips, go to our free resource website for merchants where you can find free tools and content to help you have a successful holiday season.

We wish you a successful holiday season!

 

[1] PayPal Credit is subject to credit approval as determined by the lender, Comenity Capital Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah, and is available to US customers who are of legal age in their state of residence.

[2] PayPal Working Capital is subject to credit approval, as determined by the lender, WebBank, Member FDIC. Minimum payment of 10% of the total loan amount (loan + fee) every 90 days for the first 540 days or the loan is paid in full is required.  See Terms and Conditions for details.

[4] Limitations apply. See website for details.