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Minimalist Guide to Mobile Payments
By Kristen Gramigna, BluePay
Mobile payments make it easy for your customers to pay, and can optimize your point-of-sale processes. But the benefits don’t stop there. Here are some of the simple but impactful ways you can leverage mobile payments to grow your business.
Reduce purchase hesitancy. Mobile payments systems empower your staff to meet customers at the moment they're ready to buy. Not only can the added convenience help you convert more prospects into customers, it reduces the purchase hesitancy customers often experience when they come upon a traditional checkout line. In fact, The New York Times cites scientific evidence that supports the point-of-sale value mobile payments can offer. According to the research, consumers turn to their personal perception of the wait time a point-of-sale line presents when deciding to buy — regardless of whether their expectation reflects reality. Mobile payments allow small businesses to cater to customers before they can second-guess their purchase, while giving them an ideal checkout experience. They can purchase anywhere in your store — or at remote locations such as festivals and events — in the moment they’re ready to buy.
Dangle the marketing offers customers are most likely to want. Many mobile payment providers include the ability to incorporate customer purchase patterns into marketing campaigns. With such insights, small business owners design and deploy cost-effective marketing offers via email or text message that dangle the proverbial carrot customers are most likely to respond to, given their past purchases.
When you market relevant products, price points and promotional offers based on the customer’s unique purchase history, you optimize the time and energy you invest into your marketing campaigns.
Get more out of your loyalty programs. Data recently compiled by SCORE revealed that it costs a small business nearly seven times more money to attract a new customer compared to the cost of cultivating a relationship with an existing one. Though 82 percent of small business respondents to SCORE's survey said establishing loyalty is critical to their growth, loyalty rewards programs are no longer a point of differentiation — or guaranteed to build loyalty.
Consider Media Planet’s data as an example of how fierce the competition for customer loyalty has become: While the average customer belongs to about 13 loyalty programs, they are active users of fewer than half of them. That’s a challenge mobile payments can help small businesses overcome. Media Planet’s study revealed that from the customer’s perspective, ease of use is one of the most important aspects of a loyalty program. Mobile payment providers can empower merchants to integrate loyalty programs with their mobile payments: Customers use a digital loyalty card to earn rewards when they use mobile payment, and can redeem what they’ve earned automatically at the mobile point of sale.
Build a world-class brand on a small budget. SCORE’s data reveals that how the customer is made to feel during their interaction with a merchant accounts for about 70 percent of what the customer considers a positive buying experience. Mobile payments demonstrate that you understand the world in which your customer lives, and want to be a part of it.
Not only do more than half of Americans own a smartphone, they reportedly spend about three hours a day on mobile devices. As consumers become increasingly reliant on the convenience their mobile devices offer, merchants must follow suit. Mobile payment transactions allow a swift transaction; electronic copies of receipts delivered via email or text message simplify the customer’s purchase experience and make it easy to return merchandise, when needed. These small features contribute to a service experience that makes your customer feel appreciated. In fact, one study reveals that customers have an increased perception of value, and what they’re willing to pay for products and services when they feel a business delivers top-notch service.
Whether you’re competing with other small businesses or larger retailers, mobile payments are more than just a point-of-sale tool. In fact, mobile payments can deliver a competitive advantage that has a significant impact on how your customers perceive your brand, your business and their purchase experience.
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing. Follow her on Twitter at @BluePay_CMO.
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