Cyber Monday, a bonanza of online bargains offered by retailers ranging from big box stores to mom-and-pop merchants, racked up a whopping $3.39 billion in sales last year. Busting Black Friday’s $3.34 billion internet sales record, Cyber Monday 2016 was the busiest online shopping day in history, according to Adobe Digital Insights. Black Friday’s web-based counterpart debuted in 2004 and falls on November 27th this year, giving e-commerce merchants just a short time to prepare their checkout processes for a virtual avalanche of holiday shoppers.

One way online retailers can get ready is by providing more payment choices. According to the Baymard Institute, an independent web usability research organization, 8% of shoppers will leave the checkout page if a retail site doesn’t accept their preferred payment method. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons for checkout cart abandonment among guests who intended to buy. Fortunately, this problem can be corrected in short order with a few simple fixes.

Accept American Express and Discover
Processing cards other than Visa and Mastercard can give your Cyber Monday sales a welcome boost. Although Visa and Mastercard are used by more than 500 million people, some of those people will max out their accounts by the time the doors close on Black Friday. That’s why opening your doors to 115 million American Express and Discover cardholders makes good business sense. Worried about the higher processing fees associated with Amex? They might be worth it. According to the Motley Fool, American Express cardholders earn about 60% more than the national average, so they may have more disposable income to spend during the holidays.

Give customers a blank check
Electronic checks cost less to process than credit cards, with fees of about 25¢ per transaction or 1% of each transaction. Not only do eChecks give your customers an extra payment option, they allow merchants to keep more of each transaction total. If you decide to accept eChecks, consider simplifying the user experience by providing an on-screen blank check that shoppers can fill out. Once submitted, eChecks are processed via Automated Clearing House within one or two business days.

Show guests you’re gift card-friendly
Fear of data breaches, key logger viruses, and other cyber threats make some shoppers hesitant to use credit cards online. Gift cards are a great alternative, but many consumers don’t realize they’re an option. Let them know by prominently posting images of gift cards you accept on your site’s homepage and checkout page. Also, ensure a smooth checkout experience by reminding customers of common gift card snags such as insufficient funds, forgetting to register the card, or entering the security code incorrectly.

Creating a more accommodating checkout process within your retail site can translate into higher profits and lower shopping cart abandonment rates on Cyber Monday, Black Friday, or any day.

Give your business the gift of innovative processing services and online payments expertise before the holiday rush. Contact National Merchants Association for A Merchant Account That Works For You™.