Smartphones and their myriad of apps are revolutionizing business once again. It is becoming more common to see customers at a cash register pull out their phone and use it to pay rather than using cash, debit cards, or credit cards. Mobile programs are relatively inexpensive and don’t require sophisticated technical knowledge to implement. This has allowed many small businesses to quickly adopt the new technology.
“Mobile has really taken away the requirement that you have to build big systems and be a large company to be successful with technology,” says Gene Signorini, the vice president of mobile insights at Mobiquity. “In many ways, it is easier for small business to adopt mobile payment programs because they don’t have a large infrastructure to work through so small businesses can jump right in.”
Here are five ways offering mobile payment helps you to increase sales:
- Integrate with incentive programs. Loyalty programs have long been proven to increase sales. But many customers don’t like to carry a handful of punch cards or keyring tags. Enter the smartphone. Check out how both Starbucks and Walgreens are using their cell phone apps to increase usage of their loyalty program. Small businesses can quickly set up a mobile loyalty program by signing up with a program like FiveStars (www.fivestars.com).
- Ability to offer credit card payments. This is a particular advantage for businesses that travel to the customer, such as yard and pool maintenance companies. Requiring cash payments or billing the customers at the end of the month hurts your cash balance and leads to bad debts.
- Track customer trends and inventory. By using mobile payment options, small businesses can easily see what products and services are selling and when.
- Increase the speed of checking customers out. Customers love quick service, especially when paying. We started using this during this tax season and it made accepting payments when clients picked up their returns a much easier process.
- Save money on credit card fees. Many mobile processing fees are lower when swiped than when manually entered. Every processing company has a different fee schedule so be sure to compare.