When the holidays roll around, everyone rushes to buy gifts and treats. It's the busiest time for shops and online stores as people spend a lot.
In 2022, people in the U.S. spent $942 billion on holiday shopping. That number could go up this year to as much as $966.6 billion.
That's lots of transactions requiring smooth processing to ensure you don't miss a single opportunity to capitalize on holiday spending. In this high-stakes period, iCheckGateway.com (iCG Pay) should be your go-to platform for payment processing.
With iCG Pay, you can say goodbye to the headache of managing multiple payment methods separately. iCG Pay is an omnichannel payment processing platform that ensures that your business can take payments in many different ways, all at once — quick contactless payments, ACH processing, credit card processing, etc.
But why does this matter for your business? By choosing iCG Pay, you're setting yourself up for success well into the future.
Prepare for Increased Payment Volume During the Holiday Rush
Numbers don't lie, and they have quite the story to tell about holiday shopping.
As seen earlier, last year, people in the United States spent $942 billion on holiday gifts and celebrations.
And it's not just a one-off. People are spending more each year. A big survey that talked to over 55,000 shoppers found some interesting tidbits: spending went up by 8.4% during Thanksgiving, by 6.9% on Black Friday and the days following (that's Cyber Week), and by 6.5% over Christmas for all those last-minute gifts and holiday needs.
What does all this mean for your business? Well, when the holiday season kicks in, there will be a lot more people tapping on their phones and lining up in stores to buy things.
So, if you're running a shop, you've got to be ready to handle all these extra sales without any glitches. No one likes standing in a long line or dealing with a website crash when trying to buy.
A smooth payment process means happy customers and happy customers are likely to come back next year.
What Payment Processing Solutions Does iCG Pay Offer for Holiday Sales?
We’re recommending you use iCG Pay, but why? When the holiday sales season hits, you want to ensure you're ready to take in all those payments, whether from credit cards, online transactions, or even mobile payments.
At iCG Pay, we have many tools that can help make this happen smoothly. Here are some of our solutions that will help you this holiday season:
1. Credit Card Processing
iCG Pay lets you take credit card payments no matter what you sell or how big your business is. You can handle both credit card and ACH payments all in one spot. This means you can offer your customers more ways to pay, leading to more sales for you during the busy holiday season. A study found that small businesses offering multiple payment options increase their revenue by nearly 30 percent.
2. Hosted Payment Portal
Think of the hosted payments page as your online cash register. It's a portal where your customers pay you with their credit card or through an ACH payment. iCG Pay ensures this is safe and meets all the security rules, keeping your business PCI compliant.
3. Mobile Payments
iCG Pay helps you take payments straight from your phone or tablet, no matter where you are. This is great for holiday markets, pop-up shops, or even delivering goods directly to your customers. You can take credit cards, use ACH, or even deposit checks with your mobile device.
4. SMS Payments
Sending a text message invoice means you can tell your customers they have a bill to pay just with a quick SMS. It's fast, easy, and a great way to remind people to complete their purchases, especially when they're busy with holiday errands and might forget.
5. Recurring Payments
If you've got customers who buy from you regularly, setting up recurring payments makes it much easier for them. They can set and forget it, knowing their payment will go through on time. This could be for monthly subscriptions or payment plans for bigger holiday purchases.
Use ACH and Electronic Checks to Simplify Your Holiday Sales
ACH and electronic checks are like the digital version of the old-school paper checks, but way faster and more convenient. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, a network that moves money from one bank account to another electronically. It's safe, it's quick, and it's becoming really popular.
Are ACH and electronic checks better than other payment methods in the holiday season?
ACH and electronic checks often have lower fees than credit card transactions. During the holiday rush, when sales volumes are high, this could save you a lot of money.
Here are more reasons why you should consider these two this holiday season:
- Fewer Chargebacks: There's less risk of chargebacks with ACH payments than credit cards. This means fewer headaches about reversed transactions after the holidays.
- Consistent Cash Flow: If you have regular customers, ACH allows for easy setup of recurring payments, which helps with cash flow predictability.
- Security: There's less risk of fraud compared to paper checks, and that's a big relief.
For Your Customers
- Convenience: Customers don’t have to enter card details or write checks for every transaction. They can just authorize the payment and be done.
- Safety: Customers might feel safer not sharing their credit card information, especially with concerns about online fraud.
- Control: ACH transactions can be scheduled so customers can better plan their finances during the expensive holiday season.
However, ACH and electronic checks also have their drawbacks. While electronic payments are faster than paper checks, they are still slower than instant credit card authorizations. This could be a downside for last-minute holiday shoppers who want immediate confirmation.
Also, not all customers may be set up for or familiar with ACH payments, so it's good to have alternatives like credit cards or digital wallets to accommodate everyone's preferences.
In the end, offering a mix of payment options, including ACH, electronic checks, and other methods like credit cards and mobile payments, might be the best approach. Or, better, use an omnichannel payment processor like iCG Pay that incorporates all these solutions.
Optimize Mobile Payment for On-the-Go Consumers
In 2022, around half of all the money spent in online shopping worldwide was through mobile wallets. That's people using their phones to pay instead of digging out their credit cards or writing checks.
About 66% of Americans have started to use their phones more and more to buy stuff online. Why? Mobile payments are super convenient.
So, why is it important to ensure your business is ready for mobile payment fans during the holiday sales? Well, because that's what a lot of customers expect these days. They want to grab their phone, click a button, and bam — the payment is done. If it's any more complicated than that, they might give up and go somewhere else.
With iCG Pay, your business can let customers pay their way using their phones. You can securely accept ACH, credit card transactions, and remote deposit capture (RDC).
By optimizing your business for mobile payments, you're opening the door to all those on-the-go shoppers. And with more and more people going mobile every day, that's a lot of doors you want to keep wide open.
How Should Your Business Handle Returns and Chargebacks During the Holidays?
Chargebacks happen for a few reasons. Maybe the customer didn't get what they ordered, were billed the wrong amount, or didn't recognize the charge on their statement.
Now, not all payment methods are equal when it comes to chargebacks. Credit cards tend to have a higher rate of chargebacks than other methods like ACH or debit cards. That's because credit card companies often make it easy for customers to report problems and request chargebacks.
During the holidays, when everyone's buying all sorts of things, it's especially important to have a good plan for handling returns and chargebacks. Here's what you can do:
- Be Clear About Your Policies: Ensure your return and exchange policies are clear and easy to find. This way, customers know what to expect.
- Communicate Well: If there's an issue, talk to your customer as soon as possible. Good communication often solves problems before they turn into chargebacks.
- Keep Good Records: Save all the details of customer purchases and interactions. This information helps if you need to dispute a chargeback.
- Train Your Team: Make sure your staff knows how to spot and handle potential chargebacks or returns. They should be friendly and ready to help.
- Quickly Process Returns: If a customer wants to return something, try to handle it quickly. A happy customer is less likely to make a chargeback.
Every year, there's a jump in chargebacks starting in late January and lasting until the end of February. It's all the holiday shopping coming back around. According to the Chargeback trends and outlook report, by 2026, the number of chargeback transactions worldwide is expected to be 42% higher than in 2023. That's a lot, so it's good to get your ducks in a row now.
Get iCG Pay as your Payment Processor
Having a strong payment processing system is key during the holiday season. Any mistake or hiccup means a lost sale. Lost sales are as good as giving a gift to your competition.
With iCG Pay, you get a full solution dedicated to ensuring each swipe, tap, or click results in a successful sale. Our platform handles everything from credit card transactions and ACH payments to mobile payments and even those text message invoices that customers love for their simplicity.
The holiday season is when your customers are ready to spend, and you need to be ready to accept their payments in any form. And after the holidays, when the inevitable returns or chargebacks start rolling in, you'll want iCG Pay to navigate these challenges smoothly.
Schedule a 30-minute discovery call to learn how iCG Pay can help your business this holiday season.