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Cyber Monday: Here’s The Deal With Those Deals

CYBER MONDAY DEALS

by Intrepid Payment Processing

Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. The best part about Cyber Monday is that there is no need to leave home. We can shop from the comfort of our own homes and still receive huge discounts from online retailers.Retailers will still make huge profits despite the low prices. A retailer buys a product straight from the manufacturer for a set price. For example, Store X buys 100 computers from a manufacturer for $500 each. The retailer will then mark the item up to make a profit. In this case, Store X decides to mark the computer for sale for $1000. If on an average day, Store X sells 2 of the computers they have made a profit of $1000. However, on Cyber Monday they advertise that they will discount the computer $250 and sell it for $750. Consumers see this huge discount and take full advantage of it. Store X sells 50 computers earning them a profit of $12,500. In addition, they have brought the consumer to their website and they may browse and buy additional items.

When shopping online, we have to make sure that we are getting the best value for our money. We must take things like shipping into account. If two websites are offering the same item, we must look at not only the discounted price, but how much it is going to cost to ship the item to us. Some websites offer free shipping on all orders. Others will offer a flat shipping fee. Be careful and watch for conditions that are set. Some websites set amounts that must be met before purchases qualify for free shipping. For example, a site may require that purchases total at least $50 before free shipping applies. Other sites may have free shipping codes.

There are many websites that will put all of the sale ads in one place. This will make it easier to compare and contrast sale ads. Or going to the company’s website will usually yield their sale ads.

Finally, before completing a purchase, it is necessary that we ensure that the site is secure and trusted. Different web browsers indicate secure websites in different ways. However, it is always indicated in the address bar of the browser and is usually indicated with a padlock. You can also check the web address itself. If the web address starts with “https,” this means that it has been through the validation process and received its SSL certificate. Look at the site and make sure that there is contact information and a return policy. These are other indicators that the website is legitimate.

Happy shopping!

Thanksgiving Day: To Close or Not To Close, That Is The Question

by Intrepid Payment Processing
Turkey Bird SignThe scenario reads as the follows: simply put, what are some of the issues of retailers who wish to either close or open on Thanksgiving Day? How do customers feel about this? Is there really a profit to be made by staying open, especially with Black Friday and a weekend following the day after?Our post below covers these above issues in an attempt to find out, “Is it really worth staying open on Thanksgiving Day?”
Stores That Close On Thanksgiving DayTraditionally speaking, Thanksgiving is one of the most awaited holidays celebrated in the United States. Other than for food-related items, not much gift buying is actually done on that day.

This is a day to gather with loved ones, eat fine meals and excitedly watch the fall football games. Watching the Thanksgiving Parades televised during the day are other time-honored traditions still kept by many segments of the population. In addition, people are still traveling en route to reach their cherished destination by dinner time.

Re-thinking retail marketing strategies include simply offering really low prices, great value, unique products, significant discounts and rebates and the convenience of shopping online from major outlets.

Recent statistics offer diverse facts.

  • 92.1 million customers shopped on Black Friday in 2013.
  • The average amount spent from Thanksgiving Day to the following Sunday is $407–down 4 percent from 2013.
  • Online buying on Thanksgiving Day was up by .05 percent or 248.7 million customers.
  • Shoppers that were physically in the stores by 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day were down by 4.9 percent.

Shoppers in certain geographical regions have different shopping preferences than other parts of the country. Further broken down by age groups, you have even greater revealing figures.

That said, millennials lead with 13 percent more purchases than adult shoppers on the Thanksgiving weekend–but not on Thanksgiving Day.

Stores That Remain Open On Thanksgiving Day

In recent years, some retail stores have inculcated the masses with a need to begin their Christmas holiday shopping not only on Black Friday, but on what some consider a sacred holiday to be enjoyed with our family and loved ones–Thanksgiving Day itself.

Hoping to take away some buying power from other closed retailers, those merchants who prefer to stay open on Thanksgiving Day find that total sales made on that day, as opposed to what it cost to stay open, simply was not worth it in some cases.

Knowing that many major stores open the very following day and that their laptop or digital device is only a credit card away from the eagerly awaited sales, takes away from the need of having to run out on one of the busiest days of the years to make lines and get crushed by other shoppers.

This past year, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday saw record-breaking online retail sales generated by a growth in mobile sales. That said, Black Friday online sales were 63.5 percent higher than those that took place on Thanksgiving Day. Who really wants to go to the stores, and fight it out with others? We don’t, and we doubt that you do either.

Copyright 2015 Intrepid Payment Processing

We’re Past The Deadline; Is Everyone Ready?

by Intrepid Payment Processing

EMV is a new global standard for credit and debit card transactions at the point of sale. In the United States, the liability shift went into effect October 1, 2015, however, the migration to EMV use has been slower than expected and many retailers have not made the switch.

What’s the problem?

Because EMV-compatible cards have an embedded computer chip in them, new equipment is required on the retailer’s end…and it’s not a cheap upgrade. Ultimately, though, they should want this because the smart chips create a unique transaction code which dramatically reduces the opportunity for fraud. (And the banks are no longer going to assume the responsibility for non-EMV transactions.)

That said, a recent Debit Issuer Survey revealed that 90 percent of financial institutions in the country have begun issuing EMV-equipped cards; although only 25 percent of the total number of cards out there will be equipped with EMV by the end of 2015.  While bigger retailers like Walmart and Target are upgrading terminals to accept EMV cards, smaller merchants are much slower to upgrade. The Strawhecker Group found that about 27 percent of smaller merchants were ready as of October 1, 2015.

It’s not all that surprising that merchant acceptance has been sluggish. As consumers become more familiar with the EMV process, they will begin to expect it when they transact and that’s what will probably drive widespread acceptance.

Copyright 2015 Intrepid Payment Processing

Compliance Weak After EMV Liability-Shift Deadline

by Intrepid Payment Processing

October 1, 21015 was a momentous date for the American merchant payments processing industry. We are now in the Europay, MasterCard, Visa (EMV) chip card era, which means greater security and compliance. EMV is not only a technological shift; it is also a major shift in terms of liability and responsibility for credit and debit card issuers as well as for merchants.

As the situation currently stands, any business that accepts a physical card transaction could be liable in case of fraudulent use. In the past, merchants in the United States had some responsibility insofar as taking measures to prevent card fraud, but liability ultimately fell on the card issuers; that is no longer the case. The EMV system is designed to provide more security than the old magnetic stripe system; to this effect, merchants who do not upgrade to the new system are essentially on the hook should fraudulent use occur at their business.

It is important for American business owners to realize the gravity of the EMV shift. A couple of years have passed since this matter was stressed in the wake of the massive data breach suffered by giant retailer Target; since that time, a little more than a quarter of all merchants in the U.S. had upgraded their terminals. It is estimated that less than half of all merchants will be EMV compliant by next summer. What is truly concerning is that not all business owners who accept card payments are fully aware of the implications of the EMV shift.

A week after the October 1 deadline, the Small Business Committee at the House of Representatives looked into how much, or how little, progress has been made with regard to the EMV upgrade. One Committee member explained that the EMV transition has caught many merchants off guard. Even in the best case scenario, it may take two or more years for 60 percent of merchants to upgrade.

Considering how sizable the American retail landscape is, the fact that more than a quarter of all merchants have already upgraded their systems is auspicious. The EMV shift may not be off to the greatest start, but what has been accomplished thus far amounts to a lot in terms of compliance.

Although the EMV upgrade is not a mandate, the liability shift should be of the utmost concern for merchants. More than half of all credit and debit card fraud takes place during physical transactions, and merchants are now liable if they do not comply with the EMV shift. Criminals are aware of the EMV shift, and they are planning to make final runs on the old magnetic stripe system; for this reason, it is in the best interest of all merchants to upgrade as soon as possible.

 

Copyright 2015 Intrepid Payment Processing

Magnify Your Margins With Gift Cards

by Intrepid Payment Processing
The gift card industry is huge. According to a recent study, you’re probably going to both give and receive a gift card this holiday season. We give them for all the obvious reasons: they’re super convenient, easy to mail, easy to budget and perhaps most importantly, everyone loves getting gift cards.
 
But even when combined, the gifter and the giftee only make up half the equation. What about the seller? Yes, the retailer. They probably make out the best of anyone.
How so?

For starters, people don’t use them! CardHub estimated that from 2008 to 2014, Americans generated $44 billion in unredeemed gift card value . This suggests that the average American has over $100 in gift cards that they haven’t used. Whoa.

This is a best-case scenario for a retailer, right? They generate revenue without losing any product. Brilliant! Their economics professors would be so proud!

But it gets better because even the consumers to do use their gift cards may very well spend more than the actual value of the card once they’re in the store. It happens all the time, doesn’t it?

You need a TV…you get a $100 gift card from Best Buy as a birthday present… and BAM! You just saved a hundred bucks on your TV while Best Buy just made a high-margin sale. You may have normally purchased that same TV from Amazon or Walmart, but since you had that $100 card from Best Buy that was the best play.

You can trickle this down to retailers with a much smaller sales funnel, too. If we talk in terms of growing your customer base, offering gift cards makes a ton of sense. It’s been found that 72 percent of consumers who visit a business for the first time simply because they received a gift card to that business end up returning to that business. Again, this happens every day.

 So, if I’m a retailer, I’m not only going to offer gift cards…I’m going to promote the heck out of them. There is a lot of margin to be made!

Copyright 2015 Intrepid Payment Processing