Prepare your business for the holiday rush

Oct 08 2019 | PayPal editorial staff | 4 min read

It might only just be spring, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas sales.
It’s never too early to make sure your business is ready for the Christmas and Boxing Day sales. According to the National Retail Federation, 20% of annual sales take place in November and December and about 40% of consumers begin their holiday shopping in October or even earlier. In fact, most major shopping centres and stores will have already started brushing the dust off the seasonal decorations. So now’s the time to ensure your business is running smoothly so you’re ready for the silly season. Make sure stock is being planned, tools to maximise customer conversion are being implemented and ways to extend the shopping season beyond Boxing Day are being thought through.
Here are a few steps to take today so the holiday season runs as smoothly as possible.

Ensure your website is mobile-optimised
With 72% of customers shopping on their mobile, it’s critical your website is mobile-optimised. This goes beyond just transferring all the copy and images from the desktop site to your mobile site. Customers want a different experience on the go; they want to navigate, search, choose and pay quickly and easily. This is even more crucial during peak shopping times.
Think about what helps customers move seamlessly from product selection to checkout. Make sure the design is simple and adaptable, uses large fonts and minimises data entry.
If your website is hosted by a trusted eCommerce partner, you’re likely to be a few steps ahead with mobile optimisation typically already taken care of. However, it’s still important to give your site and checkout a thorough test before December.

Make online and offline purchasing simple
For those buying online, if customers can’t find and purchase something within a few clicks, there’s a strong chance they’ll abandon their carts. Research shows that the average cart abandonment rate is 67.91% and 81% on mobile. Offering customers a seamless checkout process, by using PayPal’s One Touch or other digital wallet, and accepting all types of debit and credit card options helps maximise your pool of customers while ensuring they keep their business with you.

Just as important is the offline experience. Being equipped with the right technology to accept all types of payments through the point of sale (POS) solution also helps your business be available to more people. Gone are the days of “cash only” and whether it’s a bricks and mortar store or a market stall, having a mobile card reader like PayPal Here gives you the flexibility to accept payments from anyone, anywhere.

Get the funding you need
It’s no secret that cash can be tight for everyone at this time of year. Businesses need to stock up so products are readily available for consumers and ensure there are enough staff on hand to deal with the holiday rush. Consumers are spending money on presents for family, friends, neighbours, colleagues… the list goes on.

PayPal Working Capital supports businesses with a strong PayPal sales history with short-term capital to do things like buy more inventory, market your business or fund existing operations. If approved, you can choose how much of your future sales will automatically be deducted as repayments and you’ll receive funding in minutes.

Automate email marketing
Sending automated email marketing campaigns to customers is a great way to boost awareness of holiday promotions. There are a few providers, including MailChimp and MixPanel, that can segment marketing lists according to certain actions customers took or geographic location, for example. The more your email communications can be automated, the more time you’ll have to focus on what you do best – running your business.

Extend the shopping season

Selling across borders and taking advantage of holidays around the world is common practice. So don’t let the January slump hit! Think of New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Single’s Day, New Financial Year, Father’s Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Halloween... Basically, it’s possible to tie any point in the year to a holiday event somewhere. And if you’re doing business internationally, there are programs to help create global versions of your website, translate, localise and manage shipping and returns around the world. 

The holiday season in Australia is always buzzing, and it’s a traditional boom for business operators. It can also be a time of high stress. However, implementing the right strategies sooner rather than later could help this be a hassle-free silly season.
 
 
*PayPal Working Capital is provided by PayPal Credit Pty Ltd ABN 66 600 629 258

The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. The information in this article does not constitute legal, financial, IT, business or investment advice of any kind and is not a substitute for any professional advice. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, IT and legal advice before making any business decision.