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Upgrading Your Payment Game Works

The global market allows people to buy goods and services from places and providers they would never have been able to interact with just a decade or two ago. Competition comes from all sides, and when difference in quality of products and services grows minimal, and with the sheer quantity increasing on a regular basis, how can merchants achieve a competitive edge? 

If a small or medium business is looking to boost its sales and attract customers, one of the options is an mPOS or mAcceptance device. Mobile points-of-sale systems are inexpensive and easy to use, their credit and debit card readers can integrate with both smartphones and tablets, and they accept NFC and EMV transactions. The fact they can be carried in a small bag and set up virtually anywhere makes them perfect for any location an SMB might offer its goods and services, from markets to concert halls or college campuses.

With the growing trend of paying for smaller purchases with mobile devices, and the millennial and generation Z's preference of contactless and online payments over cash, an SMB focusing on cards and contactless payments can boost both their business and image. 

Loyalty schemes also aim to provide that "little something extra" in order to encourage customers to spend more and draw repeat customers. Frequent flyer miles have been a staple of air travel for decades, and frozen yoghurt shops had long ago begun issuing customers stamp cards - a stamp for every purchase, six stamps gets you a free yoghurt!

Boosting business by increasing mobile features is a very smart idea and the numbers speak for themselves. The data from We Are Social’s report Digital in 2018 indicates that by 2018, 52.2% of global traffic came from mobile. However, it is important to acknowledge how much variance there is per each country.

In addition, a third of the world’s online population used mobile payments in Q3 2017, according to Global Web Index. Visa has also revealed that in 2017, 77% of Europeans had been using mobile payments. 

All of this plays a big role in ensuring that by 2019, SMEs new to mobile payments received a significant advantage: mobile-savvy customers and with them great market penetration. Businesses in Denmark and Sweden have recognized the opportunity here and have been leading the charge in mobile payments in Europe in 2018, with the trend expected to continue.

Learn from the big boys

In fact, many could take a cue from Amazon, with their patented One-Click Payment solution. It brought Amazon not only billions in revenue but raised customer satisfaction through the roof and increased customer retention.

Said solution is the envy of many Amazon's competitors, and perhaps the best testament to its quality is the fact that Apple licensed the One-Click Payment solution from Amazon and applied it to many of its online activities, including the popular iTunes Store. Amazon and Apple are indeed giants, but nevertheless any business should look in that direction of simplified processes. 

Internet for All

SMBs should not turn their noses at the internet either - or even worse, believe that they're 'too small' and therefore self-reject. E-commerce can make or break big companies, and can certainly be no less significant a benefit to an SMB. 

Developing an online store should be at the top of an SMBs priority list and for a good reason: an online store is active 24/7, allowing customers to make a purchase whenever and from whichever location they want.

Good ecomm builds trust

However, said online store needs to be designed with convenience and ease of browsing and purchase in mind, otherwise it may very well work against the SMB. 

Customer reviews are a must since happy customers leaving good reviews and ratings is the least expensive marketing which can and will increase sales. Research shows that over 70% of customers say positive reviews increase their trust in local SMBs.

This has proven to be a major boost to both sales and customer satisfaction. 

Merchants started realizing this which is shown in the PWC's study where 60% of them said that they see digitization of the shopping experience as a key payment trend.

Source: Shopify

And even more importantly, over 90% claimed that a 4-star or higher rating would convince them to give local SMB a chance. Customer support should be provided over other channels, fast and perfectly polite - and that is the best marketing possible.

Boost by loyalty programs

Technology has changed, with loyalty stamps being replaced by apps and cards that can be scanned by POS and smartphones, but the rewards can still include "next one is free", while also providing opportunities to collect points that can be redeemed for various perks. Starbucks combined the two concepts - digital loyalty and their own payment solution - skyrocketing their business. 

Apps aren't just more practical for the customers. There are benefits for the small and medium businesses as well. Via apps, SMBs can learn about customer behavior and consequently make targeted offers that will increase both customer satisfaction and revenue. Dedicated loyalty scheme apps are doing so well, there is a growing market for precisely such service providers.

The U.K.-based Swipii and Loyalzoo are prime examples of providers catering mainly to small and medium businesses. They offer software for running loyalty schemes to anyone from coffee shops to pet stores to retailers. Various providers offer various features, from automatically grouping customers according to shopping patterns to sending out tailored marketing messages via SMS, email or in-app messaging.