With Christmas just around the corner, small businesses and big businesses alike are hastily preparing for the influx in festive shoppers and sales ahead. As the UK continues to move closer to becoming a cashless society, it’s important to note that the majority of Christmas spending will come from card sales alone. According to The Guardian, as few as 1 in 10 customers now pay in cash with the majority of customers opting to use their debit cards instead.
With this in mind, it’s hugely important that businesses consider how they can best accommodate customer card payments over the Christmas period. If done right, you can improve your customer’s experience, effectively maximise sales and boost your business’ Christmas profits. Here are our top tips for small business’ on how to make the most of Christmas card sales:
Cut Queue Times Using Technology
Christmas queues can be an absolute nightmare to navigate for businesses and consumers alike. While a queue inherently indicates that your business is in good demand, one that extends out of the door, into the cold, and consists of nothing but disgruntled and stressed out customers, is a far from appealing sight for passing potential shoppers. Anything that your business can do to speed up the payment process and reduce queue times will naturally increase your sales.
Ensure that your card machine accommodates all of the latest payment options facilitated by technology, such as Apply Pay, Google Pay and Contactless. This will massively reduce the amount of time necessary for payment and shrink those Christmas queues. There are several types of card machine available, so make sure you invest in one that best suits your business’ needs:
- Counter-top card terminal – this is the most standard type of card machine, allowing you to process card payments at your till.
- Portable card terminal – this type allows you to take payments anywhere within your premises, so if you’re a restaurant you can take card payments from your diner’s table.
- Mobile card terminal – if your business frequently travels to different destinations, for example if you’re a food stall or a mobile hair dresser, a mobile card terminal will allow you to process card payments from wherever you are.
Move Your Business Online
Online shopping is more popular than ever before, and in the run up to Christmas, sales are through the roof for most online retailers. If you want to make maximum profits through customer card payments, you should try to get a slice of those online sales.
But first, ensure that you can in fact rise to customer expectations and demands. Your eCommerce setup should be quick, easy, and secure, to facilitate sales and enhance customer experience.
If your business is already online, don't overlook the need to make your business’ site mobile-friendly. A website that is easy to navigate on all devices will ultimately encourage consumers to reach for their cards and buy your products or services. So, invest some time in reviewing your site and consider giving it a face-lift in the run up to the festive period.
Train Your Staff to Process Payments Seamlessly
The Christmas period can be just as intense for your staff, so it's important that you don’t over-look their needs too. If your staff feel overwhelmed or under prepped, their less likely to be efficient when it comes to making sales. So, it’s essential that you set aside adequate time to train your staff properly and ensure that each and every one of them are confident processing payments and using card machines:
- Talk all of your staff through the basics; processing transactions, applying discounts and issuing refunds.
- Whenever possible, have a designated senior member of the team on hand to assist with any payment problems should they arise.
- Check in with your staff regularly to see if there’s anything they think would improve the payment process and boost sales at the till.
Take Advantage of a Merchant Cash Advance
If your business could benefit from a little additional funding this Christmas, a merchant cash advance is a great way to take advantage of the festive influx in card payments. Perhaps you want to bulk buy stock, invest in new equipment, hire additional Christmas staff, or bridge short-term cash flow problems?
With a cash advance you can borrow between £5,000 - £500,000 in unsecured business funding and repay flexibly using a small, pre-agreed percentage of the money your business makes through its card terminal. There’s no fixed repayment period, no interest charged on the amount borrowed and you only pay back when your customers pay you. So, all in all, the Christmas shopping season could prove a great opportunity for small business owners to aquire for further funding to invest in their growth for the new year ahead.
If you found this article useful, you might also be interested in reading How Does A Merchant Cash Advance Work For Online Businesses.