Post-holiday checklist for businesses

The beginning of the year is a perfect time for businesses to take some time to recalibrate post-holidays and make sure everything is continuing to run smoothly. Here are five areas businesses should review this time of year, as well as how independent software vendors (ISVs) can help them in that endeavor.

1. Handling chargebacks

A chargeback, also called a payment dispute, is defined as a reversal of funds after a customer has issued a dispute on a credit or debit card transaction with their bank.

January is consistently the month of the year that sees the most chargebacks, largely due to the preceding holiday shopping season. With the increase in online shopping during the 2021 holiday season, merchants are unfortunately likely to also see an increase in chargebacks this month.

Chargebacks are time-consuming and costly for businesses - the fees and handling costs of a chargeback can make the merchant’s actual loss 20-30% greater than the value of the transaction. However, businesses can take steps to help prevent chargebacks - if they haven’t done so already, the first of the year is a great time to get started to help prevent future chargebacks.

ISVs can help their merchants prevent chargebacks by providing them with a robust suite of security features such as encryption and tokenization. Learn what ISVs should know about managing and preventing chargebacks.

2. Improving cash flow

The beginning of the year is generally a slower time for businesses, so it’s a perfect time to take a look at business management practices. One area to look at is how to improve cash flow - poor cash flow management is the cause of small business failures 82% of the time.

One area where businesses can potentially improve their cash flow is B2B payments. Research found that 57% of small business B2B payments were collected late in 2020. In March 2020, paper checks were still the most common B2B payment method, with 81% of businesses still paying other firms using this method. However, processing these is lengthy and expensive. It's estimated that, on average, processing a single paper invoice can cost SMBs $22.

Businesses can get paid easier and more quickly by implementing digital B2B payments. Going digital can streamline the payments process. Automated B2B payments allow businesses to more easily see cash flow patterns than when they use paper checks. They can more easily control when they pay vendors, improving their cash flow.

3. Managing online reviews

The importance of online reviews can’t be overstated. Research shows that almost 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Further, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

With the increase in sales during the recent holiday season, businesses might now find themselves with an overwhelming amount of online reviews to monitor and address. To make this task less daunting for merchants, ISVs can offer them a software solution that includes reputation management tools.

The Reputation Management Tool from Global Payments Integrated aggregates reviews from top sites into one place, giving businesses one central location to read and address customer feedback.

If a business has the opposite problem - they aren’t receiving enough online reviews - one way to rectify that is to ask their consumers. Statistics show that 77% of consumers would be willing to leave a review if asked.

Our Innovative Phone & Text Communication product has a feature that integrates into your software and allows businesses to send review requests to their customers with a custom message. Businesses can text customers a link directly to Google’s review page or Facebook’s review page for the business, asking them to leave a review.

4. Making website and SEO updates

About 81% of B2B purchase cycles start with an online search. With businesses and consumers alike conducting so much of their research into products and companies online, a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is essential to help get company information in front of their potential customers.

SEO is a combination of techniques and strategies designed to drive traffic to a website by increasing its ranking on the search results page of a search engine such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

Updated content is a major ranking factor for SEO, so businesses should ensure any new products or services are included on their website. The post-holiday period is also a great time for ecommerce businesses to ensure their product inventory is up to date on their site.

5. Ensuring PCI compliance and security

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) was developed by the PCI Security Standards Council. It sets forth the minimum payment security features that must be in place to limit the chances of a cardholder data compromise. Merchants that comply with the PCI-DSS are less likely to suffer data breaches.

All entities that store, process, or transmit cardholder data must validate PCI-DSS compliance. While this can seem a daunting task, Global Payments Integrated has a dedicated PCI compliance team to help. The new year is the perfect time for ISVs to ensure they’re partnered with a payments provider who can offer this expertise to their merchants.

Starting the new year off right

By partnering with Global Payments Integrated, ISVs can help their merchants start the new year off right. We’re a one-stop-shop for ISVs who want to offer their clients a full package of payment functionality, security features, commerce enablement tools, and more. Contact us today to get started.