It’s no secret that the busy holiday season is key to the success of any e-commerce business, and this is especially true when working with high risk merchant account providers.

Plenty of retailers make the bulk of their earnings during the holiday season, with e-commerce sales growing 16% from the 2016 holiday season to the 2017 one.

During the 2017 holiday period, e-commerce retail sales reached a whopping $453.5 billion as businesses focus more on how to maximize their resources. High risk merchant account providers are an integral part of helping online retailers navigate through the risk brought about poor marketing initiatives, fraud and chargebacks, as well as failure to expand shipping options and prices.

Here are some ways that e-commerce companies of any size can work with high risk merchant account providers to survive and thrive during the holiday season.

Faster Shipping Is the Way to Go

While the prospect of offering free shipping options for larger orders may be tempting, providing customer with faster shipping options is another great option. Consumers often complain about getting orders later than expected during the holiday season, which can have catastrophic consequences on your business in the form of chargebacks, fraud and negative reviews.

Data from the top 500 retailers that use Hitwise found that the final week before Christmas accounts for 12% of the visits and 14% of transactions of the entire holiday season. This suggests that there are a lot of last-minute shoppers who will push you to the limit, reinforcing the importance of working with experienced, high risk merchant account providers during the holidays.

Of course, free shipping for larger orders is also enticing if you can manage it, but faster shipping should be your number one priority. If you do encounter some issues during the holiday season such as late arrivals, high risk merchant account providers can help you deal with these shortcomings, but it’s best to avoid falling short of the mark altogether.

Turn Your Focus to Search

The Hitwise report also found that the biggest traffic driver to e-commerce sites is through search engine optimization (SEO) during the holiday season. Search accounts for 43% of web visits to online retailers, with social networking sites coming in second, bringing in less than 10% of all traffic.

Optimizing your site for search is important; in fact, searches with the words “Near Me” attached to them surged 600% since 2015, with most of that spike taking place during the holiday season.

Bolstering SEO efforts is important for any e-commerce company’s marketing team, which can help businesses display nearby store inventory with the right tools. By informing consumers of products near them, you can increase your customer conversion rates.

Offer Promotions and a Sense of Urgency

Part of having success with high risk merchant account providers is understanding how you will add value to your customer’s shopping experience. One way to do this is by bundling products for a lower prices or by offering a loyalty rewards program.

Promotions are at their most effective when you create a sense of urgency, informing customers that certain products are only on sale for a limited time. Promotions that include a sense of urgency can spur impulse buys as customers want to take advantage of great offers. BetaBait found that nearly 90% of impulse purchases are completed when items are on sale.

Friendly Fraud, Account Takeover and Phishing All Increase Risk

Again, the best high risk merchant account providers can help to reduce the chances of your retail business getting burned, but you should still do everything you can to lower this risk. Friendly fraud is at its peak during the first quarter of the holiday season, which means that a customer receives an item, disputes it, gets a full refund and keeps the item.

Chargebacks are common during the holiday season, as criminal fraud increases over the last two months of the year. Chargebacks can happen when cardholders attempt to game the system, although billing confusions and customers expressing buyers’ remorse can also lead to higher chargebacks.

Working with high risk merchant account providers during the holiday season has numerous benefits. In addition to providing guidance on the best way to streamline payment processing during the bread-and-butter holiday season, these types of providers can help you augment your fraud solutions to withstand increased fraud. The best high risk merchant account providers with position you for success and growth during the holidays and beyond.