Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday buying season. This is the most crucial period of the year for many retailers, and can account for up to 30 percent of total yearly sales.
Although this period brings great opportunity, in addition, it creates considerable challenges. Retailers must react to evolving behaviours and handle enormous gains in footfall, but still provide the exceptional in-store experience customers demand. They need to also contend with increasingly sophisticated fraudsters and respond to rapidly evolving security threats.
The fantastic thing is that the resources retailers will need to successfully deal with these challenges are already available to them.
Putting the smartphone and center
The smartphone is now integral to the in-store retail version. According to a survey from Deloitte, 40 percent of customers expect engaging with a merchant’s app and 22% expect to make in-store purchases using a mobile wallet throughout the 2017 holiday season. Retailers using a mobile wallet offering have a substantial advantage, therefore, when it comes to meeting customer expectations and maximizing revenue in-store.
Also, 74 percent of customers say smartphones will enhance the general in-store shopping experience. The direct, immediate delivery of personalized supplies, smart alarms and value-added services like rewards, coupons and loyalty points all help to engage customers and boost earnings.
Removing checkout lines
As Black Friday has evolved into a global phenomenon, it’s currently the busiest shopping day of the year for several countries. The resulting spike in footfall places enormous pressure on retailers and may cause lengthy and frustrating lines at the checkout. As 86 percent of consumers prevent shops with long lines and 38% abandon purchases because of excessive waiting times, retailers have tried different procedures to address the issue. By way of instance, in 2016 Walmart hired employees solely to marshal and run checkout lines.
Retailers, however, should look beyond simply reducing checkout lines. That is where in-aisle, scan-and-go technology comes to the fore, as it enables shoppers to just scan things with their telephones, checkout in-app and walk from the store. In-aisle, in-app payments completely eliminate the requirement wait in line entirely, eliminating consumer frustration, accelerating throughput and maximising potential sales. From the highly-competitive seasonal retail marketplace, this a massive point of difference.
Responding to evolving safety
As retailers look to improve the customer experience, occasionally, they might be exposed to more danger. The achievement of the EMV® Chip Specifications in securing the physical point-of-sale means fraud is migrating to the more vulnerable e-commerce and m-commerce channels. Additionally, fraudsters are now able to utilize the huge swathes of private data and information readily available on the dark web. A consequence of the several mega-breaches over the previous years.
To compound the matter, fraud poses a particularly acute issue at this time of year. In 2016, global retail fraud increased by 31% during the holiday season, with 1 out of every 97 transactions an attempted fraudulent effort.
On a more positive note, EMVCo has introduced version two of its own tokenization specification to tackle emerging use-cases like in-app and internet payments, and recurring one-click-ordering. This promotes a secure remote payments environment and ensures that retailers with electronic wallets leveraging tokenization have an effective way of delivering secure payments to their customers across multiple channels. Retailers searching for additional security may also layer tokenization with different technologies and techniques.
As retailers work to prevent the Black Friday blues and seize the opportunities of the holiday season, it’s apparent that digital wallets can be a powerful tool to boost the in-store experience and enhance security.
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