In a day and age when consumers have so many products, businesses, and even the means to shop them to choose from, are you mobile enough to meet customer needs?
As more and more consumers turn to the Internet, and especially mobile apps to browse and shop for goods and services, it behooves the small business owner to be able to provide mobility for both current and potential customers.
According to a recent Gartner report, mobile payments will account for more than $170 billion in sales by year’s end, a jump of some 62 percent from the $105.9 billion reported last year. Their research went on to predict that mobile payments could add up to as much as $617 billion by 2016.
Meanwhile, a study from Pew Internet & American Life noted recently, that close to 75 percent of smartphone users access location-centered apps and services like Foursquare in order to track down details on area restaurants and retail stores, yet more reason for small business owners to be mobile empowered.
So, how does the business owner, who may be just opening up or is only using standard point of sale (POS) methods up until now, add mobility to their business?
The best strategy starts with choosing the right mobile payment method that will both add revenue to your income stream, and allow you to remain relevant in the market going forward.
So you know, mobile payment options continue to grow for the small business owner, including companies such as PayPal, Google, ISIS (a combined effort from Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T), Sprint and more, who offer different mobile payment products. Top providers are banking on more and more merchants going mobile in order to grow their brands and dominate this technology based selling world. While some small business owners likely feel that going mobile involves too much effort and added costs for the technology, the bottom line is that more and more consumers want that option when shopping and buying.
For those small businesses who think that customers will come back after being told a business only accepts cash payments or sell items in person, those antiquated businesses might as well kiss goodbye and chance of future sales. The bottom line is to add to your conversion rate, and having mobile payment options can do just that for you. This is especially true for the future.
Lastly, as you search for the best mobile payment option for your small business, keep in mind that knowing your company’s revenue is important, thereby allowing you to select the mobile payment service to best suit your needs.
How Will Mobile Payments, Apps Benefit My Small Business?
Among the benefits you will find from going the mobile payments route:
- Setting up a mobile payment system does not require a long period of time;
- Your employees can easily be trained in how to accept mobile payments;
- Customers will like the ease with which they can buy products and services from you, along with having lower transaction fees;
- You will find less hassle in overseeing your incoming payments;
- There is more ability to gather customer information and see what their habits are when it comes to shopping.
Among the benefits small business owners can enjoy from sporting a branded mobile app:
- The ability to communicate directly with customers;
- Making information available in real-time regarding store hours, directions and importantly specials;
- Dealing in an appropriate and quick amount of time to customer questions, concerns and complaints;
- Being seen as up to speed on technology and projecting the idea that you plan to be in business for the foreseeable future;
- Staying up to date with the competition, many of whom offer such products and services.
With these thoughts in mind, why are a number of small business still dragging their feet when it comes to becoming more mobile?
Promotion and Security Remain Key
The excuses can range from fearing the added mobility will cost time and money to not knowing how to promote one’s brand in the mobile world.
Whether you are offering simple mobile payments and/or providing customers information with a mobile app, promoting such efforts is important.
Along with properly using social media to let consumers know of your mobility, your employees are your great advertisers, yet many small businesses fail to see that.
Whether they are on the job or outside the office, make sure your workers let others know how your small business has become mobile in such a short amount of time. Also make sure that they are trained to use and promote such devices, especially when you are wanting to tout your latest products and promotions.
Finally, no matter which mobile payment or app route you go, make sure you stress customer security to any individual who wants to shop and purchase goods and services with you.
Keep in mind that many consumers still have reservations about sharing their stored personal information (especially financial) with another party. From privacy concerns to fraudulent charges, it is important that you reassure them your mobile network is protected.
With all that you and your small business have to gain from being more mobile, what are you waiting for?