Amit Mathradas is General Manager, Small Business Group for North America at PayPal. He's on a mission to educate retailers and help them increase sales and revenue in their businesses. In a recent discussion, he offers these key tips for succeeding
online and offline during the holiday season and beyond.
The holidays should be an exciting time for retailers. Sure, there's some stress, but retailers who are prepared should see an opportunity to increase their sales.
Cash flow is important for merchants. It takes money to increase inventory, to buy technology or to offer certain services to customers. All of these things require cash flow - even adding more staff in preparation for the holiday season.
Ensuring you have a line of credit is necessary. There are a lot of vendors offering lines of credit and working capital. PayPal Working Capital, which you pay back as a percentage of sales, is one option.
Amit shared with me that cross-border transactions are also important for retailers to be aware of. During a down time of sales in the retailer's home country, there might be an opportunity for growth in another country, by leveraging that countries holiday sales.
As you're looking to selling globally or cross-border, research the "sales windows" of the countries you're selling in. Give yourself time to build demand, allocate marketing spend, setup SEO and more.
Fraud is a concern with any sale, but especially one that's happening cross-border. Buyer Protection and Seller Protection are features that PayPal has that protect the buyer and seller from fraud and build trust with both parties. Of course, transactions using PayPal don't even exchange credit card numbers.
Amit stressed that a website is SO important.
One area that is often problematic for merchants and customers is the checkout process. Because their checkout process is confusing and not optimized, many retailers lose quite a bit of money due to "shopping cart abandonment."
Be sure your check out process is as smooth as possible to lower your "shopping cart abandonment rate." Enable "one touch" check out processing to make the checkout process as simple as possible for your customers.
Essential for any website is that it is mobile optimized and responsive. Amit said that 30% of the transactions PayPal sees are from a mobile device and that's going to increase.
Finally, it's important to give your customers choice in how they want to pay: credit card, debit card, Apple Pay, consumer credit.