Get Ready for the Holiday Rush

Sep 15 2021 | PayPal editorial staff

As a business owner, you know a lot is at stake this holiday season. Due to pent up demand, a desire for a return to normalcy, and more than a little ‘retail therapy’, shoppers are projected to be filling their digital and physical carts with more goods than ever before. Companies around the world have an opportunity to rise to the occasion and end the year strong. To address this growing demand, smart businesses are preparing for the holiday season now to ensure they are ready.
Just how big will the 2021 holiday season be? If last year’s historic numbers are any indication, businesses everywhere have big opportunities ahead. In 2020, global retailers saw two years of e-commerce growth packed into just one holiday season.1 Digital sales skyrocketed, with holiday sales growing 50% year-over-year to $1.1 trillion globally.2 Beyond the record-breaking total sales numbers themselves, the other big change in 2020 was when consumers shopped. Getting started earlier than ever, holiday shopping kicked off in October, with $26 billion in global retail spending that normally takes place during Cyber Week in November.3

As we look ahead to the 2021 holiday season, our goal is to equip you with the advice you need to make the most of what’s coming. Read on for actionable tips to help you get ready and download our free holiday preparation ebook for even more insights.
 

How to Prepare for this Significant Holiday Season


With shopping continuing to gain momentum this year,4 retailers need to be proactive to ensure they don’t miss out on any sales when business picks up even more during the holidays. In March, retail sales rose 9.8% in some markets as vaccine rollouts, stimulus aid, and summer style shifts spurred many to hit the stores. This momentum looks set to carry through into the holidays and beyond, as parts of the world continue to open up and many people return to more typical spending levels.

Though it might feel like the holiday rush already, shoppers are just getting started. Now’s the time to make the necessary preparations to ensure the holidays are as successful and stress-free as possible.

Here are a few tips to get your holiday season planning started in the right direction.
 

Maximise sales by making checkout a breeze

Speed and convenience are critical to avoiding one of every business’s biggest fears: cart abandonment. Research shows that for every one-second delay, e-commerce conversion drops by 7%.5 And it’s important to be extra sensitive to this issue during the holidays: December is the worst month of all for abandoned carts.6 To avoid issues, businesses should simplify site navigation and minimise the number of clicks to checkout. It’s also important to ensure your site, and your checkout experience, is optimised for mobile ahead of the holiday rush. Consider adding solutions like PayPal Checkout to your checkout process. They allow customers to speed through with only a few taps, ensuring no sales are lost to checkout frustration. By leveraging the PayPal Commerce Platform, businesses can enable different payment options so customers can always pay using their preferred method.

Are you ready for the holiday rush? Set your business up for holiday success with expert advice and exclusive tips. Download our holiday preparation ebook to learn five tips for making this your most successful holiday season yet.
 

Align inventory plans with shopping trends

Though the pandemic undeniably shifted how consumers shop, it also changed what they buy. Wellness, fitness, and outdoor products have surged in popularity as people seek to either treat themselves or shed weight gained during lockdowns. U.S. sporting goods stores saw sales growth in March 2021, up 23.5% from the previous month.7 In some markets, office workers who might be seeing their colleagues in person for the first time in over a year are upgrading their wardrobes, contributing to an 18.3% uptick in sales at clothing stores.7 Beyond those specific examples, it’s important to anticipate demand trends for your unique speciality and market. It all starts with understanding your shoppers’ preferences to ensure you have the right inventory ready to meet the demand that’s coming.
 

Get personal with targeted holiday promotions

Looking for the best way to cut through the digital noise this holiday season? Targeted, personalised promotions grab customer attention in two powerful ways. First, everyone loves a good deal, and customers have come to expect them during the holiday season. But shoppers also want to feel special. Many want to feel like you’re offering something exclusive to them that not everyone has access to. Personalised incentives help retailers capitalise on both of these opportunities. Give shoppers the deals they crave while increasing their likelihood to purchase by promoting products you know they’ve been searching for. It can also be valuable to tap into Customer Relationship Management tools and customer databases to track purchasing patterns. Use what you know about the customer to connect with them and build loyalty.
 

Are you ready for the holiday rush?

Set your business up now with expert advice and proven tips. Download our holiday preparation ebook to learn five ways to make this holiday season smooth.

Download the report
 

Frequently asked questions.

PayPal charges a Dispute Fee to manage the dispute resolution process on transactions that were completed by a buyer with a PayPal account or a buyer using PayPal Checkout as a Guest.  This Dispute Fee applies to such transactions both when the buyer files a claim directly with PayPal and when they file through a chargeback with their card issuer or a reversal with their bank.  The Dispute Fee does not apply to transactions processed through PayPal Pro or Advanced credit and debit card processing, sometimes called “unbranded” transactions.

The amount of the Dispute Fee depends on the percentage of claims filed against your total sales in the previous 3 months. The Standard Dispute Fee will apply unless your disputes rate is 1.5% or more and you had more than 100 sales transactions in the previous three full months. If you fall into that category, the High Volume Dispute Fee would apply for each dispute. 

The Standard Dispute Fee will be waived for Inquiries in the PayPal Resolution Center that aren’t escalated to a claim, those that are resolved amicably between the buyer and the seller, or those filed to PayPal directly as an Unauthorized transaction.

To learn more about disputes and claims and how to handle them, see our Help Guide.

Need more help?

How is the dispute rate calculated and how can I avoid being charged a dispute fee?  
 
Duplicate Payment
Physical Item
When a buyer claims they made a duplicate payment, provide evidence that two transactions took place. Examples may include:
  • Tracking numbers verifying postage of different goods.
  • Copies of sales receipts, invoices, or contracts with the buyer.
Service/Virtual Item
  • Compelling evidence that proves different items were delivered, used, provided, or services completed.
  • Tracking numbers verifying postage of different goods.
  • Copies of sales receipts, invoices, or contracts with the buyer.
Always include any correspondence you had with the buyer as they worked to resolve the issue with you.

Incorrect Transaction Amount

If the buyer claims they were charged an incorrect amount, provide evidence that the transaction was for the correct amount. Examples may include:
  • Copies of sales receipts, invoices, or contracts with your buyer.
  • Any correspondence you had with the buyer in question as they worked to resolve the issue with you.

Paid by other means
Physical Item
If the buyer claims they paid by means other than PayPal and this transaction is a duplicate payment, provide evidence that two transactions took place or that you didn’t receive payment by any other means. Examples may include:
  • Postage tracking numbers verifying postage of different goods.
  • Copies of sales receipts, invoices, or contracts with your buyer.
  • Any correspondence you had with the buyer in question as they worked to resolve the issue with you.

Service/Virtual Item
Examples may include:
  • Compelling evidence that proves different items were delivered, used, provided, or services completed.
  • Copies of sales receipts, invoices, or contracts with your buyer.
  • Any correspondence you had with the buyer in question as they worked to resolve the issue with you.

Cancelled subscription

If the buyer claimed they cancelled their subscription or recurring billing but were still charged, please provide evidence that this charge occurred prior to cancellation or is otherwise valid. Examples may include:
  • Copies of sales receipts, invoices, or contracts with your buyer.
  • Any correspondence you had with the buyer in question as they worked to resolve the issue with you.
Website Payments Standard (WPS) offers a straightforward and quick way for you to securely accept payments on your website. Customers can pay by using their credit or debit card, or through their PayPal account. You handle the sales while we handle everything from the checkout process to security and mobile compatibility. Plus:
  • No advanced programming is needed.
  • Your customers don’t need a PayPal account to pay you.
  • It’s optimised for customers on smartphones or tablets.
And unlike many full payment-processing solutions, Website Payments Standard has no application, setup or monthly fees, or long-term commitments. You only need to pay a small fee when you make a sale. Learn more about PayPal fees.

How does it work?
Adding WPS to your website doesn't require advanced technical knowledge. You can simply add PayPal payment button code to your website. When your buyers click on the buttons, they’ll be directed to PayPal’s payment page to pay you.
  • If you need a shopping cart: Choose a shopping cart that's already integrated with PayPal, or add our "Add to Cart" button to your website.
  • If you already have a shopping cart: Select PayPal as your online payment service. If you have a custom-built cart, add PayPal by cutting and pasting HTML code into your checkout.

With PayPal, you can enjoy a safer and easier way to send and receive payments for goods, services and more.

Shopping globally with peace of mind
Simply link a card to your PayPal account and you can start making payments in over 20 currencies. Instead of entering your card information for every transaction, you can now pay with just a few clicks without compromising your security. You can also withdraw funds into your bank account anytime. We use industry-leading anti-fraud technology and a dedicated team of risk experts to help keep your transactions safer. Learn more about PayPal Buyer Protection.

Growing your sales from various channels
Select from our wide range of payment solutions to receive payments from buyers all over the world. Accept safer payments anytime, anywhere – through your own website, using PayPal Here in your storefront, or by simply emailing an invoice to your customers. Besides our expertise in payment security, our Seller Protection protects you from any losses arising from unauthorised payments and items not received on eligible transactions.

Find out more about how we protect you.

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.