This holiday season, the National Retail Federation is predicting 136 million people will shop during Thanksgiving weekend. But due to other holiday shopping days being established and a change in consumer behavior, there has been a noticeable decrease in Black Friday sales. Even though people are now shopping differently, the bottom line is that they’re still shopping. If you’re a merchant, you need to stay ahead of these evolving consumer trends if you want to stay in business.
Is Black Friday Losing Its Luster?
Consumers are preferring to shop online, specifically on their smartphones. This increase in mobile online shopping has caused a decrease in Black Friday foot traffic sales since 2013. As This shift in consumer behavior is likely the reason that retail stores are choosing to keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving. In 2015, one-third of all online sales transactions were completed on a mobile device.
Super Saturday and Cyber Monday Steal the Spotlight
The rise of other holiday shopping days such as pre-holiday sales, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Super Saturday also contribute to the decrease in Black Friday’s popularity. Last year, Super Saturday — the last Saturday before Christmas, was the top shopping day of the year!
This year, an estimated 40% of Americans plan on shopping online during the Cyber Monday sales, rather than visit stores. Out of this 40%, two-in-five shoppers will make a purchase on their phone. Despite this change from brick-and-mortar shopping to e-commerce, the NRF is expecting an uptick in holiday spending this year.
Avoiding Fraud This Holiday Season
Based on the various surveys done by PayPal and the NRF, one this is for sure: there will not be a lack of spending this holiday season. Whether you’re going to your local mall or shopping from your iPad, fraud will still be a concern.
In over 80 countries that have made the switch to EMV cards, card-present fraud has declined greatly. This is fantastic news for consumers! According to research done by MasterCard and Visa, counterfeit fraud has also decreased drastically at chip-enabled merchants in the U.S. Despite this progress for merchants operating in brick-and-mortar stores, card-not-present fraud is continually on the rise — especially during the holidays.
Security Tips for E-Commerce Merchants
If you’re a merchant running an e-commerce site, here are 7 tips to prevent your online store from hacking and fraud.
- Protect your site and brand by trademarking your company name and logo. This is a separate process from purchasing a domain name or forming an LLC. This will protect you from copycats and knockoffs from stealing your brand.
- Invest in a trusted e-commerce platform! Building your store through platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, or Magento ensures that you have people to help build, host and constantly secure and monitor your site before anything happens!
- Make sure you have an SSL Certificate. SSL means the standard security technology, which establishes an encrypted connect between a server and browser. This is what changes HTTP to HTTPS in your URL to let you know you’re on a secure site. This is extremely important for e-commerce sites. Check out our blog on HTTPS protocol to learn more!
- Ensure your site is PCI DSS compliant. Make sure your payment integrator encrypts and stores credit card info for you, so you’re not handling it.
- Make sure your security patches on your site are up-to-date. Hackers crawl the web searching for vulnerable e-commerce sites that aren’t updated, and strike when they find one!
- Use strong passwords. If you can’t think of one, invest in a password generator to do the work for you. This will automatically prescribe strong passwords and change them for you every certain amount of days.
- Be well-versed in fraud habits. As a merchant, you should know what threats you’re looking out for. You can do things like integrate fraud detection tools and only shipping to verified billing addressed. Find a way to make sure you know how to spot the dangers that are out there for your online business.
Happy Thanksgiving, from Evolve Systems
If you’re one of the nearly 136 million consumers hitting the stores this holiday season, we wish you best of luck and we hope our tips to help you to stay clear of the fraud! Whether you’re a merchant or consumer, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with good food and quality time with your loved ones.