After another turbulent year dominated by the ongoing pandemic, the 2021 holiday spending season is officially upon us. In fact, it has been for some time.
According to Mastercard, consumers got a head start on their holiday shopping this year. In the most recent Mastercard SpendingPulseTM, which measures retail sales across all payment types, the holiday shopping season began in October, which is earlier than what we’ve typically seen in previous years.
Mastercard anticipates that e-Commerce sales during these “75 Days of Christmas” (Oct. 11-Dec. 24) will be 7.5% higher than the same period last year. Supply-chain disruptions and ongoing labor supply shortages are contributing factors, inspiring retailers to offer omnichannel promotions early on.
Certain categories of retail have already seen noteworthy growth. Total retail spend was up 29.8%, with in-store and e-Commerce spend both seeing growth. Apparel spend was up 86.4% year-over-year. Department stores and electronics also saw increased spend this year. The infographic below breaks down 2021 Black Friday retail sales in more detail.
While some consumers returned to in-store shopping this year, e-Commerce is the new normal. According to a recent statistic from eMarketer US retail e-Commerce will climb 14.4% to $211.66 Billion. With this growth, optimizing the consumer experience in the online environment should be top of mind. So, what can e-Commerce retailers do to accommodate this?
In 2019, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover Introduced Click to Pay, a global industry standard for online checkout with the goal of providing a simple, secure, and consistent way for consumers to check out across a retailers website regardless of their device or browser.
Mastercard built Click to Pay on EMV Secure Remote Commerce specifications to support network tokenization, increasing approval rates for merchants and adding an extra layer of security for consumers.
With Mastercard Click to Pay’s sophisticated authentication technology, there is no longer a need for a customer to manually enter their card payment information and will match their identity with the card stored in their Click to Pay Profile, immediately providing them with a faster more secure way to check out.
Making the online shopping experience for your customers as seamless as possible is a great way to maximize this seasons potential for sales. The tedious and time-consuming guest checkout process of entering information, filling out multiple fields, and authenticating a purchase can result in customers losing patience and abandoning their purchase altogether.
Mastercard Click to Pay is gaining momentum across the ecosystem, launching with over 10,000 merchants across 18 global markets, with many more in the works.
Mastercard Click to Pay implementations on a business’ site to date have been via a button-based experience, a form factor that is consistent and familiar to consumers today. While Mastercard will continue to support button-based implementations for both new and existing retailers, the focus is shifting to more streamlined implementations that sit behind and power merchants’ existing checkout experiences. For example, consumers in the future will be able to enroll into and checkout with their Mastercard in Click to Pay simply by entering their email address on a retailer’s checkout page instead of having to look for a button.
How e-Commerce retailers can “sleigh” this holiday season
2021 was a year marked by strong retail performance, and the holiday season will be a fitting end. As online holiday shopping enters its peak, e-commerce businesses should prepare to offer a seamless shopping experience to maximize sales and keep customers coming back.
With Mastercard Click to Pay, e-Commerce businesses can impress their customers with a payment option that reduces checkout times, fights bots, improves conversion and protects their personal data using proprietary security solutions such as tokenization and NuDetect, all while removing the need to have their card in hand to shop online.
Individually, Mastercard Click to Pay, Tokenization and NuDetect serve as powerful standalone solutions that help address some of the key challenges in the checkout process today. Paired together, these solutions are a powerful combination that reduce frustration in the checkout processes and enable retailers to wrap up the 2021 holiday shopping with a bang.
To learn more about Mastercard Click to Pay visit their website here.