Retailers expect electronic payment systems to boost holiday sales
September 10, 2013

Businesses that utilize electronic payment systems will likely have an edge up on the competition this holiday season. Recent import activity as measured by the Global Port Tracker report compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates, indicates retail organizations are already beginning to prepare themselves for holiday shopping.

The reports said the volume of imports at major retail container ports in the U.S. will increase 5.1 percent in September compared to the same month in 2012. According to a press release from the National Retail Federation, cargo import numbers alone don't necessarily indicate future retail sales. However, the sheer volume of goods flowing into the country is a major indicator of what the retail environment will soon look like.

How can businesses prepare for a successful holiday shopping season?
As companies increase their imports in anticipation of increased year-end sales opportunities, many are also paying close attention to the latest trends in both technology and consumer behavior. According to eMarketer, many industry experts are finding shoppers spend more money when they have the convenience of making purchases across multiple channels. As a result, the source said businesses will likely strive to incorporate convenient electronic payment systems into their current operations in time for the year-end holidays.

Online and mobile channels have become increasingly important elements of holiday shopping season forecasts and sales metrics. More than ever, it is especially necessary for retailers to offer payment integration across a variety of platforms. Shopping is no longer limited to traditional transaction methods. Customers with mobile devices now expect a certain level of fluidity when it comes to purchasing products through any medium they desire.

"Make sure that your channels are integrated, so that when that person goes from a website into a store and pulls out their mobile device, you're giving him a great experience that makes it more compelling than to go to Amazon," Larry Freed, CEO of ForeSee, a customer experience analytics firm, told eMarketer.

The trend is likely to linger on through the next several years, as well. According to, 81 percent of U.S. consumers who currently have mobile phone plans will have a smartphone by 2015. Similarly, the source expects retailers will spend a total of $19.8 billion on mobile marketing by the same year. Businesses that accept mobile payments can anticipate years of solid revenue as a result.

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