Four Tips for Merchants to Create Brand Loyalty this Holiday Season
‘Tips the season for merchants to make a lasting impression on their customers. Or else.‘
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming . Beyond long lines, big sales and tired sales reps, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season that follows, is a major opportunity to cement the merchant-customer relationship for the upcoming year.Businesses attribute about 20% of their annual sales to the holiday season, and Deloitte predicts Retail Holiday sales to increase 4-4.5% over last year shopping season, eCommerce to increase 18-21%, The question that merchants must ask themselves among rising sales, however, is how can they leverage the holiday sales season to build brand loyalty among consumers?
When we think about brand loyalty, we traditionally think about the online shopping experience, customer service or loyalty programs. However, we believe that a customer’s payment experience is just as important a factor in contributing to brand loyalty and have outlined some rules that merchants should keep in mind when it comes to this “fourth pillar.”
- Ease of Payment
Customers today need a quick and painless checkout process similar to the swipe-and-go system they are used to with credit cards, while still receiving all their points, miles and cash back benefits. When choosing a payment technology, be sure it supports a seamless payment experience for the customer:
- Creating a mutually beneficial relationship
During the holiday season, consumers are likely to spend at stores where they can get the best deals – and not necessarily where they usually shop – leading to a kind of “one and done” relationship with those retailers. However, merchants can help extend the love shown to them by implementing a payment technology that works for their customer base, making it an integral part of the shopping experience and increasing the chances that they’ll come back for seconds.
- Keep the customer’s financial budget in mind
With so many payment technologies available, as the merchant, you don’t want to end up becoming the bad guy. What this means is, make sure the payment technology is also in the interest of the customer and won’t break the bank for them. Research and understand the financial implications of the technology beforehand, keeping a special eye out for APR rates (for example, Splitit is completely interest-free! unlike consumer financing solutions).
- Offering Installment Payment
Providing your customers with the option to split payment for a particular product means they are able to spend more whilst still remaining in control of their cash flow. The implications also mean that customers are more likely to look at other products and consider purchasing them due to the lower upfront cost of the item they originally intended to buy.
And since most retailers already accept credit card payments, this installment payment solution is easily integrated into almost any e-commerce business. The flexibility offered to consumers means they can choose which credit card to pay with and still earn points and rewards from their chosen card.
While retailers have traditionally been cautious to embrace new payment technologies, 93% of retailers believe consumers seek a broader choice of payment tools, leaving no doubt that it is time to make a change. While change is good, make sure to do your research so that you choose the technology that is both beneficial for you and your customers.
Happy brand loyalty building and happy holidays!