How Retailers Can Prepare for Christmas 2021 - Velstar

How Retailers Can Prepare for Christmas 2021

Shopify Plus, Technology

20/10/2021

Much like last year, this Christmas will look unlike any other. Now COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, people are eager to return to traditions and celebrate in a big way. Of course, there’s no denying the pandemic has changed the way people shop and buy products, and this creates a new set of unique challenges for retailers looking to leverage the revenue opportunity. To be successful, you’ll need to adapt your strategies and find new ways of serving your customers on your Shopify Plus store.  

Following the release of their recent State of Fraud Report 2021, our partners at Signifyd outline some of the key trends that you need to pay attention to and share actionable advice on how you can make the most of the 2021 holiday season. 

Retail shopping trends in 2021

1. Shoppers are spending more than ever before

When the pandemic hit, ecommerce started to really boom, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, experts predicted that the increase in online shopping sales would continue to grow as consumers became accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. And the numbers support this. 

For example:

Finally, according to the British Retail Consortium, which cited a 40% growth in online sales in 2020, “The shopping habits formed during lockdowns are here to stay.”

2. Omnichannel shopping experience is a must

Since 2020, curbside pickup has really taken off. In fact, Signifyd Pulse data shows that click-and-collect orders are up 360% from where they were before the pandemic. According to a Signifyd survey, 48% of consumers said they’d be more likely to use click-and-collect during the 2021 Christmas season than they were before the pandemic.

This shift in online traffic and the need for more fulfilment options marks a significant change for retailers. First, brick-and-mortar stores need to move away from the notion that an omnichannel shopping experience is just a nice to have and instead see it as a must-have. 

Second, retailers will need to look at how easily their omnichannel experience is to navigate, to ensure the shopping experience is as seamless as possible. 

3. Christmas is the season for new shoppers

Christmas brings with it a huge amount of new customers, and this year will be no different. 
Whilst having lots of new shoppers on your Shopify Plus store is great for your bottom line, it can also present its own set of risks. The influx in order volumes and the rise in new customer payments gives pesky fraudsters the cover they need to go unnoticed. So ensuring yours and your customers’ data is protected will be essential.

Tips for 2021 Christmas holiday shopping period 

We think you’ll agree; the trends discussed above sound promising as we head into the 2021 Christmas season. But the reality is that more online shopping activity increases the risk of fraud. 

Looking back at last year’s statistics, there was a marked increase in fraud pressure, up 450% in November 2020 over pre-COVID numbers. In addition, consumer abuse incidents were up 227% in November over pre-COVID times.

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to ensure you don’t fall victim to fraudulent activity. Let’s take a look at what these are…

1. Preparation is key

We say it every year, but start getting your Shopify Plus store ready as soon as possible. 

Here are a few things you can start doing right away: 

2. Improve your security

This Christmas season, don’t just tighten your fraud rules, instead thoroughly improve your protection process across your Shopify Plus store. 

Being too conservative with your rules in an attempt to catch fraudulent activity can lead to legitimate orders being declined.

The following events may occur during the holiday season, which are often used as indicators of fraudulent activity and used to decline a customer:

Of course, during the Christmas season, the above incidents naturally occur, due to the unique spending habits of the season, which makes it trickier to separate an honest customer transaction from a fraudulent one. 

For example, a customer might use a secondary payment to hide a gift purchase or a different address where they plan to ship their gifts. Additionally, a customer might use a credit card or alternative payment method they rarely use to make larger, more expensive purchases, so they have some wiggle room on their credit card limit.

3. Automate your systems

Relying heavily on manual fraud review isn’t scalable. This is because it’s time-consuming and it’s unlikely that your team will keep up with the additional workload – at least not at the pace that will assure rapid delivery.

This is where automation can help. Consider turning to automated order review for your overflow — or even for the bulk of your order screening. Automated systems allow you to handle huge spikes in the Christmas season and then ratchet back down when the surge is over.

4. Opt for professional help

Innovative fraud solutions such as Signifyd, use big data and machine learning to render ship-or-don’t-ship decisions in milliseconds. They are infinitely scalable and the best of them offer a guarantee on approved orders. If an approved order turns out to be fraudulent, the fraud protection provider will make a merchant financially whole.

The assurance helps optimise revenue year-round by removing fear from the equation and allowing you to embrace the instinct to ship as many orders as possible. 

As you begin the busy Christmas season, bolster your fraud protection with a solution that is leading fraud and risk management into the new era of ecommerce. This will free you to focus on the immense amount of opportunity the busy season holds for your online retail store.

If you need some help to protect your Shopify Plus store this holiday season, or simply want to hear more about Signifyd, get in touch with Velstar’s ecommerce experts today.  


About Signifyd:

Signifyd protects thousands of merchants and enterprises from fraud and consumer abuse and is a Shopify Plus certified app. Its Commerce Protection Network means that Signifyd sees millions of transactions and has prior knowledge of more than 98% of consumers shopping online. Signifyd also backs its decisions with a financial guarantee.