November is set to be a great month for shoppers and retailers alike in Asia-Pacific. On Singles’ Day, Alibaba reported monumental sales of US$17.8billion in just 24 hours, a sharp increase from its 2015 record of $14.3 billion.
With Singles’ Day sales figures being highly indicative of the health of the economy, retailers can expect similar high traffic and sales volume during the upcoming Cyber Monday.
Once the world’s biggest online sales day in 2014, Cyber Monday is another event-linked promotion used by retailers around the world to give discounts on their e-commerce sites. While it has been usurped by Singles’ Day in Asia, the event still rakes in a 170% year-on-year increase in weekend sales volume, making it a not-to-be-missed event for retailers.
To fully maximise this year’s festivity, here’s a quick rundown of the region’s latest payment trends and some best practices for retailers to prepare for this year’s sales rush:
Asian consumers are amongst the highest adopters of mobile shopping globally, with 6 in 10 users in Asia Pacific shopping online with their smartphones each month. For retailers to capture this burgeoning mobile-savvy population, they should ensure that their websites are optimised for mobile, which means adapting the experience for a smaller screen and also minimising the number of clicks and swipes needed in a purchase.
Offer multiple payment options
There are still prevalent trust issues in many parts of Southeast Asia when it comes to online payments. In Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, where internet penetration still has plenty of room to grow, merchants should provide alternative and familiar methods of payment like Mandiri Clickpay, Gcash or Maybank2u.
Consumers in China, on the other hand, have a preference for local payment methods like Alipay, UnionPay and Tenpay. These methods dominate the market whereas international credit cards account for as little as one percent of transaction volume. Thus, offering at least one of them is absolutely crucial to reaching the vast majority of shoppers in China during such sales.
Enable one-click or single-tap payments
Consumers have already scoped out a site for the best deals prior to Cyber Monday will appreciate personalised services like product recommendations based on previous shopping activity to save valuable time in this intense retail game of fastest fingers first.
It will also be useful to offer one-click payment to shoppers to make their checkout process a breeze. This stores their payment details so they can simply purchase an item with just one click.
Don’t miss out on legitimate customers
With high traffic influx this Cyber Monday, comes a higher risk of failed credit card transactions and fraudulent activities. Many companies focus on keeping the fraudsters out but neglect the 5% global average that is declined for no other reason than a glitch in the system.
This 5% can amount to plenty of lost revenue during these two peak days of retail activity. Retailers should make it a priority to use the right payment data to measure performance, track trends and drive conversions. This ensures their payment technology suits the unique preferences of the banks they work with and maximises their chance of transaction approval.
With these tips in mind, retailers in Asia-Pacific can go into Cyber Monday well prepared and capable of generating more revenue and strong customer loyalty without the additional investment.
Warren Hayashi is the President of Adyen Asia-Pacific and spearheads the company’s continued expansion in Asia-Pacific. With over 20 years of experience in the payments and technology industry, he has a deep understanding of the needs of fast growing global businesses in the complex Asian payments landscape.