Black Friday is fast approaching, and with it, countless opportunities to increase your sales. Not only can your promotions attract current customers who are eager to take advantage of your sales, but you could also attract new customers who are hoping to use your items or services as gifts for the loved ones on their list this Christmas season. As you’re planning for Black Friday, however, there’s one thing you may be failing to take into account: your payment methods. Offering card payments and other options is a great way to increase your sales even more during this holiday season.

The evolution of payment methods

Once, you had two options for paying for goods or services: either you paid in cash, or you bartered. Some people might have been lucky enough to run a tab at specific establishments, which they were then expected to pay for at specific times. Now, however, there are a wide range of options available, including:

  • Cash payments
  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • PayPal and other online payment methods
  • Apple Pay
  • Digital Wallet
  • Cheques
  • Gift cards and vouchers

The type of payment methods you accept in your business–both online and in person–can have potentially huge impacts on how customers are willing to shop through your business.

Which payment methods are right for your business?

This holiday season, especially as you’re preparing for Black Friday sales, consider what payment methods you want to accept in your business and how they can change your interaction with your customers. Note: you don’t want to roll out a new payment method on Black Friday, when you won’t have a chance to work out the kinks before a major shopping day! Instead, consider some of these factors over the coming weeks, then adapt your payment options based on what will work best for your customers.

Cheque usage is declining. In your store, are you still accepting paper cheques? Only about 31% of consumers have written a cheque in the last three months–and many of those may be for things like rent, which are easier to pay with a cheque in person. If you’re struggling with an excessive number of payment methods, not accepting cheques is one effective way to decrease the payment methods you need to juggle while still keeping up with what your customers want most.

Only about 13% of customers are using contact-free smartphone payments. While this number is steadily increasing, it may not be a method that you need to use in your business this year.

82% of customers regularly use their debit cards. This is second only to cash, which has been used in the last three months by at least 93% of those surveyed. If your business doesn’t accept credit or debit cards, in spite of the fees often attached to this service, you’re missing out on one of the primary methods people use for payment. Credit and debit cards, unlike cash, are also not limited by what a customer is carrying with them, which means they may also increase their purchase amount.

Online payments make collecting funds a snap. Many of these payments are automatic and fast, which means that you’ll still have immediate access to those funds. Many customers like the security of using online payment options like PayPal, which puts an extra layer of protection between you and them. This means if something goes wrong, they have the additional security of knowing that they are protected by PayPal. Consider how offering this simple service can make it easier for your customers to shop online with your business–and therefore increase your sales.

Accepting credit cards can significantly increase your business. When they added credit cards to the list of payments they accepted, 83% of retail establishments saw increased sales.

Card payments significantly outnumber cash payments. In many cases, credit and debit card purchases make up around 2/3 of the payments made in discount stores, coffee shops, and other retail establishments. If you don’t accept these cards, you’re missing out on sales!

Have you been missing out on the sales that could come along with card payments in your store? This holiday season, make sure that you’re prepared to increase your sales and take full advantage of the season. Add card payments to your accepted payment methods or consider how other methods, like PayPal or Apple Pay, could benefit your business. Then, sit back and watch the increase in your sales throughout Black Friday and beyond.

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