Viewpoints

Visa’s Blog – Visa Viewpoints

PERSPECTIVES ON DIGITAL CURRENCY

Nov 12, 2013

eCommerce

Holiday Shoppers Prepare to Hit the Web

 

 

 

As consumers gear up for the holidays, it’s clear we’re in for another growth year in eCommerce.  According to new data from the Visa Spending Intentions survey, 87 percent of people plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online this year, with 40 percent saying they will do half or more gift-buying online.  That’s good news for retailers, knowing that 72 percent of people also plan to spend more or the same amount of money on gifts this year, compared to last year.

In the first 10 months of 2013, eCommerce sales are up 17 percent from the same period last year, and Visa domestic eCommerce transactions exceeded one billion dollars on 211 days, an increase of 19 percent from 2012.

Other key findings from the Visa Spending Intentions survey include:

Electronic Payments are the Norm

  • 25 percent of respondents plan to use their mobile phone or tablet for holiday shopping this year, up from 22 percent last year
  • Credit and debit cards will be the primary form of payments through the holidays, with 56 percent of people planning to use their credit card and 30 percent to use a debit card

The Holidays are Big Business, for Big and Small Businesses

  • Almost 50 percent expect to spend between $301 and $800, while 14 percent plan to spend more than $800
  • More than 85 percent of consumers are as, or more, inclined to shop at a small business this year, compared to last year

Beat the Crowds, with a Tap of the Finger

  • Online holiday shopping has become the preferred way to shop for a number of reasons, including:
    • Fits my schedule better/Can shop anytime (67 percent)
    • Better prices online (61 percent)
    • Dislike battling crowds (54 percent)

Each year, millions of shoppers rely on Visa for holiday-related purchases, providing a near real-time view into consumer behavior. If you wish to receive regular updates throughout the holiday season, send an email to globalmedia@visa.com or follow ongoing updates at http://blog-visa.fhstage2.com.

* 2013 VisaNet Data

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted for Visa by Prosper Insights and Analytics via an online sample of over 4,600 U.S. consumers aged 18 and over.

READ MORE

Posted by: Wayne Best, Chief Economist, Visa on November 12, 2013 at 7:00 am

Sep 19, 2013

Hotwire and V.me Keep Summer Travel Going

With kids back in school and Labor Day behind us, September is a great time to snatch up last minute travel deals, and Hotwire and V.me by Visa are now making it even easier to buy them. Using V.me, busy travelers can find and book their favorite hotels at deep discounts using Hotwire and checkout with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Travel continues to be one of the most popular categories for eCommerce – 7 of 10 travelers booked their vacation entirely online last year.  And while eCommerce marks its eleventh consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year growth, it’s worth noting that according to comScore, 67% of online shopping carts are still abandoned before a purchase is ever completed.

Merchants recognize that simplifying check-out means reducing online cart abandonment, particularly as mCommerce transaction begin to gain in popularity.  Visa is helping #SavetheCart by offering V.me to streamline checkout and remove the hassle of entering bill to, ship to and account information with each purchase, no matter your device.

Learn more about how people are booking their travel today in the infographic below.

READ MORE

Posted by: Kyrssa Guntrum, Visa Corporate Relations on September 19, 2013 at 9:50 am

Aug 5, 2013

Fandango and Rue La La Help #SaveTheCart

Today’s savvy consumer scouts the web to find beloved brands at affordable prices on sites like Rue La La or to book tickets at a highly-anticipated movie using Fandango. And Visa now adds even more convenience to the checkout process on these sites and several more.

Fandango and Rue La La, as well as VEGAS.com, Crutchfield, Modnique, Sonic Electronix, are the latest to join a growing list of top eCommerce merchants that offer a simpler way to pay with V.me by Visa, Visa’s digital wallet service.

V.me eliminates the need to enter billing, shipping and account information. So, when you’re tucked into bed and realize that deal for a new pair of shoes or tickets for the upcoming Planes movie won’t last until morning, there’s no need to scramble for your wallet. With a V.me account, you can check out with a username and password.

According to comScore, the complexity of checkout contributes to an estimated 67% of online shopping carts that are abandoned before a purchase is completed. Don’t abandon your cart. Visa is encouraging everyone to help #Savethecart this summer. Learn more at www.v.me and happy shopping.

 

Click on the images below to view the #Savethecart Infographics

 

       .
#Fashion Infographic           . #Movie Infographic

 

READ MORE

Posted by: Sam Shrauger, Digital for Developed Markets, Visa Inc. on August 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

Feb 19, 2013

Electronic Payments Modernize the Face of Government Benefits

From eCommerce to eBanking, digital commerce is changing the way people around the world shop, pay and be paid.  The Electronic Payments Association explains that the average business saves between $2,000 and $7,000 annually by using electronic payments rather than paper checks. 

 The cost savings, enhanced security, broad convenience and universal acceptance of electronic payments have recently prompted the U.S. government to mandate the trend and extend the benefits of digital payments to Social Security payment recipients.  Beginning March 1, 2013, paper checks for Social Security benefits will virtually disappear.

This will affect five million Americans still receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits by check, and save taxpayers more than $100 million a year.  The switch will enhance security, help decrease fraud and eliminate theft of paper checks from mailboxes by issuing funds directly to the recipient, electronically.

It’s clear that more than ever technology is shaping the way we live nearly every aspect of our lives.  Single function currency like cash and check comes with significant limitations, especially when consumers shop online, move between payment devices and need their payments to move seamlessly with them and work reliably wherever they shop.  Using credit, debit, and prepaid cards is the norm for many Americans and this is one more step in the march away from paper checks and cash.

For more information on the transition to electronic benefits, visit: http://www.ssa.gov/

READ MORE

Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on February 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Dec 18, 2012

Perspectives on eCommerce

Earlier today, we shared a look into the growth of U.S. consumer online shopping behavior during the holiday peak season (Nov. 1st – Dec. 16th). It’s no surprise that with the advent of tablets, mobile devices, the growing number of online merchants, and the widening adoption of new payment technologies, eCommerce remains Visa’s fastest growing commerce channel – and we don’t see that changing for a long time to come.

As eCommerce grows, consumers are looking for services that are designed to make online payments simple and secure, without all the hassles of entering bill-to, ship-to, and account information.  Visa understands that, and is helping to usher in this next generation of commerce with a digital wallet service called V.me by Visa.

In the following video, Jim McCarthy, global head of product for Visa, provides his thoughts on how eCommerce has evolved since its inception and the tools Visa is developing to improve the online shopping experience, for everyone.

READ MORE

Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 18, 2012 at 11:55 am

Dec 18, 2012

2012: The Year of the Cyber Holiday Season

Today, Visa reported that merchants made more than $50 billion in online sales from U.S. Visa accountholders from November 1 to December 16, 2012, up 16% from the same period in 2011. While Cyber Monday remained the busiest online sales day of the year – representing $2.1 billion in online sales from U.S. Visa accountholders – Visa’s network has seen seven days with more than $1 billion in online sales during the 2012 holiday season, making this what Visa is declaring the first official Cyber Holiday Season.

In fact, merchants have been increasingly benefiting from eCommerce throughout the holiday season for several years, spurred in part by offering free shipping and other deals well before Thanksgiving when consumers shop online. According to IHS Global Insight, overall U.S. holiday sales growth is expected to be 3.9%, with online sales growth at 17%, indicating that merchants’ online sales continue to outpace in-store purchases and represent a growing portion of all holiday sales.

In addition to facilitating eCommerce, our partnerships allow merchants of all sizes to better serve their customers and grow their businesses during the busiest time of the year. We’ve been doing it since the advent of online shopping and, today, more merchants accept Visa for online purchases than any other payment method (Source: comScore, December 2012).

Accepting Visa online enables even the smallest merchants to reach consumers regardless of their location or time zone, and can increase merchants’ sales, efficiency and security.  Additional benefits of acceptance include guaranteed payment, simplified accounting and the ability to take advantage of Visa’s innovative products and services – such as V.me and Visa Offers – which enable merchants to deliver a streamlined online checkout process and use SMS text messages to send tailored promotions to Visa account holders who have opted in, respectively.

Watch the video below to see Visa Chief Economist Wayne Best discuss eCommerce trends for the 2012 holiday season:

 

READ MORE

Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 18, 2012 at 6:35 am

Dec 11, 2012

LivingSocial and Newegg.com are the Latest Merchants Live with V.me by Visa

Whether you’re celebrating the holidays with family, friends, or both, early eCommerce data is showing just how generous people are through the holidays. Consumers are spending more time—and money—online as more people log-on to do their holiday shopping to avoid crowds, save money and simplify the gift buying experience. This year, Visa is making it even easier by adding two more leading online retailers to our growing roster of V.me by Visa merchants and further eliminating the hassles of online shopping. 

Today, visitors to LivingSocial.com and Newegg.com can sign up for V.me, checkout with a few simple clicks, and say goodbye to having to enter their bill-to, ship-to and account information each time they make a purchase online.  For both adventure lovers looking to book New Year’s Eve plans or discover a weekend excursion, or tech-enthusiasts looking for holiday shopping deals or the latest gadget, LivingSocial and Newegg.com are sure to have the perfect gift.

With just two weeks to finish holiday shopping before Christmas, it’s important to be able to buy gifts quickly. V.me allows people to do just that, enabling checkout with just a few clicks of the mouse at any of the leading 25 eCommerce merchants using V.me.  Today’s news builds on the recent launch of V.me, where more than 50 financial institutions participated in the announcement, bringing the addressable base of cardholders to as many as 55 million.

READ MORE

Posted by: Jennifer Schulz, Global Head of eCommerce on December 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

Dec 10, 2012

#HolidaySuccess Tips for Small Business Owners: Post-Holiday Management

The New Year’s light at the end of the tunnel is near, but don’t let the last few holiday moments distract you from making the most of the holiday rush.

Our final blog series from USA Today small business columnist Rhonda Abrams, reminds small business owners what they need to do to help take advantage of the final days of the holiday season and make them last throughout the New Year.

For more information on other holiday planning advice, download the full Small Business Holiday Success Guide at www.visa.com/holidaysuccess

Happy Holidays!

Janet – @JZablock

Phew! We’re almost to the end of the holiday season. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of the holiday woods. You’ll still have post-holiday customers, and you certainly want to find ways to keep the customers you acquired during the holidays and turn them into year ‘round fans.

As you prepare for the post-holiday season, concentrate on four major objectives:

    1. Keeping holiday customers
    2. Redeeming gift cards
    3. Handling returns
    4. Planning post-New Year promotions

Keeping holiday customers. Every name and email address you capture, with consent, every new follower on Facebook or Twitter, is an extremely valuable lead and potential future customer for your business. After all, these folks have already sought you out—either by walking into your storefront, visiting your website, “liking” your Facebook page, or otherwise connecting with you.

Be creative about how you capture contact info. Of course you can simply ask people for their information at checkout, but you can also hold weekly drawings for gifts when people give you their business cards at your place of business or “like” you on Facebook or other social media, offer discount coupons on your eCommerce website if prospects register for your newsletter. (You do have a newsletter, don’t you?)

Just be sure to ask the customer’s permission before adding them to your mailing list – and of course, promptly honor any unsubscribe requests you receive.

Gift card redemption. One of the best things you’ll deal with after the holidays are all those customers coming to redeem gift cards, if you’ve offered them for sale during the holidays. Many of these customers may be new to you—the happy recipients of a gift card. So make sure you encourage them to sign up for your newsletter or Facebook page. Also, make certain you’re set up to give them excellent service—have enough inventory and staff to handle demand. Keep in mind, many gift card recipients spend more than the amount of the card, so be sure to merchandise your products or services well during this time.

Handling returns. If you have a physical location or are an eCommerce company, you’ll likely have some returns. Make sure you schedule extra staff for the first week or so after Christmas specifically to handle returns. And have a very clear and specific return policy in place (ideally, this should have been clear to buyers before they made a purchase). Your policies may be very strict, such as no cash refunds, only merchandise exchanges, and only items unopened in original boxes, but such policies discourage future purchases. You can certainly have more lenient policies if returns are rare. Whatever your policy, make sure your employees understand its terms. And emphasize to your staff the importance of accepting returns gracefully. Few things are more off-putting than a store that handles returns impolitely. Remember, your goal is to create lifelong customers!

Post-New Year promotions. Last but not least, as the holidays wind down, start thinking of creative ways to keep people coming in, even during the typical doldrums of late January and February. Tactics include:

  • Beginning-of-the-year sale
  • Two-for-one specials for slow periods
  • Multiple purchase packs of your goods or services
  • Loyalty programs
  • Free trials

If you’re diligent about capturing contact information (paying close attention to getting your customer’s consent first) throughout the holidays—and afterward—you could have a large audience for your 2013 marketing campaigns.

Enjoy!
Rhonda Abrams  @RhondaAbrams

Disclaimer:  Practice recommendations are intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal, financial, tax or other advice.  When implementing any new strategy or practice, you should consult with your legal and financial advisors. Visa makes no representations and warranties as to the information contained herein.

READ MORE

Posted by: Janet Zablock, Head of Global Small Business, Visa Inc. on December 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Nov 27, 2012

Visa Cardholders Spend $5 Billion Online Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Given the tremendous attention paid to shopping trends over the holiday weekend, we want to make sure everyone sees our press release from this morning regarding U.S. eCommerce spending results for November 23-26. For a bit of incremental context, take a look at this graphical view of eCommerce shopping trends over the long-weekend.

READ MORE

Posted by: Visa Corporate Relations Team on November 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

Nov 21, 2012

‘Tis the Season for Ringing Checkout Registers

It’s the time of year when retailers hope that you’ve made Santa’s “Nice” list, so there are lots of presents under the tree and all stockings are stuffed! So far, early indications suggest that the season will be jolly, keeping Santa and his reindeers’ travel schedules fully booked.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday shopping will increase 4.1 percent to $586 billion this year. Additionally, this week Adobe predicted online sales on Cyber Monday would top $2 billion this year, representing an 18 percent increase over 2011. Also of note: a prediction that mobile commerce would represent more than one-fifth (21 percent) of all online sales this holiday season.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are typically thought of as two of the busiest holiday shopping days of the year, a closer look at our United States-driven eCommerce data may suggest otherwise. We tasked some of our holiday number-crunching elves at Visa to look at debit and credit card purchases over the past 10 holiday seasons and found some interesting trends:

  • Weekend warriors: With a few notable exceptions (Black Friday, Cyber Monday), shopping volumes tend to climb significantly on Saturday and Sunday and drop off during the weekdays. [No matter which day you shop, if you are doing it online, V.me by Visa can help simplify the process.]
  • eCommerce excellence: According to Forrester, shoppers are expected to spend $226 million online this year alone.
  • Shopping strongholds: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are BUSY shopping days—but not the busiest of the year.
  • Procrastination purchasing: Waiting until the last minute to buy gifts means a rush before Christmas. Over the last 10 years, December 22, 23 and 24th have been the busiest shopping days of the holiday season.

Whether past trends hold true this holiday season, or other days emerge as shopping surprises remains to be seen. One thing is for certain: checkout registers – whether online, mobile or in stores – will be busy ringing with the holiday sounds of spending.

READ MORE

Posted by: Lucas Mast, Visa Corporate Relations on November 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm