Businesses are a bit blind to the tremendous potential mobile payments offers. Crafting powerful, customer-centric marketing messages is only one element.
BluePay, a provider of technology-enabled payment processing for merchants and suppliers, notes now is the critical time to harness the power of m-payments given smartphone ownership has reached critical mass in the U.S.
Research cited by HubSpot demonstrates the important role mobile now plays on customer experience — 76% of customers who own smartphones said they use them while shopping. When you accept mobile payments, you demonstrate to customers that regardless of the size of your business, you understand their lifestyle. Further, you value them enough to implement the same tools they rely on in daily life to facilitate their experience with your business.
HubSpot reports that nearly a quarter of customers surveyed said ease of checkout had major influence in their purchase decisions. Though small business owners may not be able to offer all the inventory, discounts and conveniences as a large merchant, mobile payments are an affordable tool that can make a tangible impact on how customers perceive and remember their experience with your business. When every member of your customer-facing staff is empowered to process customer payment using mobile payments, you can deliver exceptional service that you can tout in all of your branding and marketing messages.
Customer trust is key in purchase decisions, particularly with big-ticket items. Unlike the experience of buying from a larger merchant, customers may not have the assurance that a small business will honor returns or exchanges in the event of defect, or that it will be in business years down the road. Mobile payments can help overcome both of these customer purchase hurdles. By allowing customers to buy using their debit or credit card, mobile payments give customers the ability to leverage the merchant protection programs offered by many credit issues. At the same time, mobile payments empower you to store their purchase records digitally, and to assure them that returns or exchanges will be seamless, if needed.
Loyalty rewards programs are so popular that data compiled by loyalty provider COLLOQUY shows there are more than 3 million in the United States. However, convincing customers to sign up for your loyalty program doesn’t inherently translate into an increase in purchase frequency, or even program use. In fact, the same data noted above reveals that while the average American consumer belongs to about 30 loyalty programs, he or she is active in fewer than a quarter of them.
A successful loyalty program reveals a tangible customer benefit — including the ability to earn meaningful rewards and redeem them with ease. Many mobile payment providers integrate with a merchant’s existing loyalty programs (and/or make it easy to implement a new one) for a mutual benefit to both business and customer. Because mobile payment providers eliminate the need for a physical loyalty card, the investment you make into managing the program decreases, while your customers’ ability to earn and redeem points through mobile payment transactions increases.
The majority of emails are now opened on a mobile device, according to research by Moveable Ink. Mobile payment providers make it easy to compile an accurate customer email list you can use to promote targeted email marketing campaigns that customers can redeem when they purchase using mobile payments. In fact, recent research by Koupon Media indicates that in some shopper categories, mobile offers are redeemed at rates 10 times higher than paper coupons.
Aside from the internal efficiencies small businesses can gain from mobile payments, the payment tool inherently empowers customers in a meaningful way. When you use mobile payments, the entire purchase experience is on their terms, including when, how and where they pay. In a world where customers have more choice than ever, the fact that customers are indeed king in your business is a message worth marketing.
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