Invest in technology before the holiday rush

Sep 08 2021 | Contributing writer Gene Marks, small business expert, CPA, and PayPal ambassador

Today’s savvy buyers expect information at their fingertips, to make their purchases fast and for you to stay in touch with them. Now may be good time to invest in some tech upgrades so you can be holiday-ready before shoppers start streaming through physical and virtual doors. Here are a few areas to consider.
Your website.
Make sure your website loads fast and makes product information easily accessible. Test to see that users can quickly find information about your company or specific products. Make sure your site is fully mobile-optimized; if not, users searching Google on their smartphones and tablets may not find your business. Take time well before the holidays – late summer/early fall to go through your entire site and leave yourself room for testing and upgrades.

Your checkout.
Making sure your online customers check out quickly and easily is critical for ensuring a completed sale. Ask yourself these questions:
  • How good is your checkout process?
  • Are the instructions clear?
  • Can the customer see their progress?
  • Are you minimizing data entry with auto-fill tools?
  • Is your customer being bounced to another website?
  • Are you showing how trustworthy your site is throughout the process?
These are just some of the things you may need to be implementing well before the holiday rush.
Your payment options.
It’s not just about accepting credit and debit cards – you want to make sure you’re offering customers as many payment options as possible.  With PayPal Checkout, you can also accept PayPal Credit1, Venmo, and other digital payments. The last thing you want is a customer walking out the store this holiday season because you couldn’t accept payment from them.
Your point-of-sale system.
Increase the speed and ease of your in-store experience by enabling your staff with point-of-sale hardware. And look for a card reader and tablet that can run on a cloud-based application. When employees aren’t tied to a register, they’re better able to assist shoppers, look up information, and ring up sales on the go.
Your self-service options.
Enable your customers to pick, buy, and go quickly. Offer products your customers can buy without involving one of your employees. It can improve your in-store experience and help increase your employee productivity.
Your integrations.
Advanced POS systems can usually be integrated with your ecommerce store so that as you sell something in-store it's reflected in available inventory online too. This saves you time from constant site updates, and it helps you avoid a disappointed customer.  
Every business is unique, so take time to test the systems you use most. By optimizing and improving the technology that your business relies on before the holiday rush, you may be better positioned to capitalize on the busiest shopping days of the year.
The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.

1PayPal Credit is subject to consumer credit approval.


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