the modern small and medium businessesSmart, Sensible and Innovative
While cash or a credit card in your wallet can certainly come in handy when making a purchase, today you are more than likely to make a payment via mobile device. And why wouldn't you: paying with your mobile device is fast and convenient. So convenient, in fact, that it was recently projected that mobile payments will be worth over £3.5 trillion by 2023.
Innovation Creates Opportunities
Mobile payment solutions - which only a few years ago seemed something of only a niche interest - have recently passed from being something attractive to small and medium enterprises to something without which an SME, be they in retail, hospitality industry or specialized services, can't expect to succeed.
This was a natural progression: smartphones
are in every customer's pocket, and one of many lifestyle changes they brought
on was expectations of fast, easy and secure payments. A tap of the smartphone
against an mPOS terminal and the transaction is over, no need for cards or PINs.
Technology innovators, big and small, quickly jumped onto the opportunities presented by the increasing need for mobile payment providers, making mobile payment apps a rapidly growing field.
When the likes of Google, Apple, and Samsung throw their hat into the ring, you can be certain the fight has become serious. And the final proof of the importance of mobile payments came when credit card companies became involved as well.
Opportunities Create SMEs
It is certainly easy to see why mobile payments would be good for SMEs. Payment processes are streamlined, transactions cost less, and customer experience is improved. This leads to repeat business and customer retention.
An SME that introduces mobile payments can turn their website into and e-commerce site, selling their products and services online. If an SME has a loyalty scheme, points are automatically awarded, and customer information such as preferences and shopping history is processed in real-time, further informing SMEs marketing decisions.
In fact, with mobile payments, an SME’s marketing division can easily target individual customers with product and service suggestions while they are making a purchase, based on previous choices.
And while security is an ongoing concern for the business
world in general, mobile payments' encryption algorithms and security features such as fingerprint ID
provide SMEs with a reduced risk of data theft.
SME and Mobile Made for Each Other
Examples of SMEs adopting mobile payments abound. Restaurants have been introducing them lately, and over 80% of them are reporting an increase in business. The reason is clear: mPOS streamlines communication between the wait staff and the kitchen, allows servers to better see to their tables and greatly improves reservation management. Many payment service providers are now also offering SMEs short-term funding through their mPOS devices.
SME Social Media
Instagram has been one of THE social networks for quite a few years now, and it can be more than just a place to see what other people are having for lunch. A place where people interact with content several billion times a day is nothing to scoff at, and over 60% of users say they have discovered new products via Instagram.
Tech-savvy SMEs can benefit greatly from having a business Instagram account - after all, over 25 million currently active business profiles have certainly found something good for themselves there. Instagram also beats Facebook and Twitter, with brands reporting a 4% follower engagement as opposed to FB and Twitter's 0.1%. And if your SME targets Generation Z customers, you are in luck because about 50% of them are active on Instagram. SMEs have now exploded on Instagram, where they have connected in ever-innovative ways while leading people seamlessly to SME websites with a single click.
Instagram Checkout now makes it possible to buy anything on Instagram in-app or onsite.
The new Checkout option, which was previously just limited to booking services, provides small businesses with so many opportunities for promoting themselves, selling online, raising brand awareness, and engaging with audiences. Consequently, Instagram covers 100% of the online customer journey!
According to Instagram Press, at the moment Instagram Checkout is only available in the US for 20 brands, for instance, Adidas, Dior, Mac Cosmetics, Zara.