Mobile payments can help businesses grow by turning prospects into consumers and by developing stronger relationships with customers
Today, early-adopting small businesses have already begun experimenting with mobile tools and many have seen direct benefits including stronger customer relationships, higher average order values and a lift in sales.
So how can your business get started with mobile payments? Here are 5 tips to help you focus:
1. Get in the digital wallet now
Businesses must be one-step ahead of their consumers in mobile payments, as acceptance is a prerequisite for a consumer to engage with a merchant via mobile. A business that has a presence inside a consumer’s phone has the potential to deliver targeted offers and personalized service, along with faster and safer ways to complete a purchase. This presence inside the phone can take many forms, including a merchant-specific app, an offer or servicing platform, or a digital wallet that works across many merchants and enables unique offers and servicing. Small businesses would likely find a tough business case on their hands if looking to invest in building their own app. Standalone offer apps have lost favor among businesses too, as they have failed to prove their ability to engage consumers over a longer period of time. As such, Mobile Application Development of digital wallets are likely the best ways for small businesses to get inside the phone and engage consumers. And remember, you must be in the game to win, so the earlier you commit to your digital wallet presence, the faster you’ll be able to engage your consumers when they are ready to adopt.
2. Make it simple
One non-starter that will ruin any mobile payments or digital wallet effort is if it isn’t easy for consumers to use. Ease-of-use is a must-have pre-requisite capability, agnostic of what value-added service (e.g. offers, loyalty points, personalized service) you want to add on. To make app-based purchases as easy as possible, at many Viet nam software services we recently introduced a mobile app, which lets people pay across apps in a single touch, eliminating the need for entering in payment information, usernames or passwords. This degree of ease is essential in a seamless journey that will gain broad consumer usage.
3. Provide your consumers incentives
A digital wallet holds clear power for a merchant to drive new customer acquisition, order-value increase, and loyalty. But usage by consumers is the real trigger for merchants to realize these sources of value. Once present in an easy-to-use digital wallet, merchants can help catalyze consumer adoption by creating incentives to trigger initial and repeat use. Pushing targeted offers and coupons directly into a consumer’s digital wallet is a proven way to drive initial use. Repeat use can be stimulated by integrating a loyalty program into a digital wallet, offering earn-and-burn convenience and value-over-time for shoppers. The best existing example of this type of mobile-payment-enabled loyalty is seen in Starbucks’ tremendous success with its mobile app. Starbucks’ consumer app tracks rewards and delivers additional rewards by paying via the app. One measure of the success of this app is simply in the numbers: The company sees more than four million digital wallet payments per week. The incentives seem to be working.
4. Deliver a better experience
Step-change improvement must occur at the intersection of all your channels, not only making payments easier by web application development, but also making the shopping experience more fulfilling. Digital wallets can in fact enable these experiences, but merchants must be willing to evolve their operations. For example, the PayPal digital wallet consumers pay with their phone via the check in feature and lets them skip the line when they use the order ahead feature in the app. And with pay at table, restaurant customers no longer need to wait for their server to bring the check and then wait for their credit card to be taken and processed to close out their tab. All they have to do is view the bill, add a tip, and leave when they want. These types of mobile-enabled in-store experiences solve real pain points for consumers, are more likely to drive consumer adoption, thereby helping to increase sales and loyalty for you.
5. Pick a partner whose interests are aligned with yours
It is in the interest of the small businesses owner to partner with payment companies that promise to collaborate–not compete–with them. You don’t want to enable a so-called partner who will undercut your business over time, or who is delivering more value to themselves than they are to you. How will you pick a specific partner or set of partners? One simple piece of advice is especially important for small businesses, which is to pick as few partners as you need to. Managing lots of different partners takes time away from managing your customers and business directly. Another critical piece of advice to keep in mind is that any partner you choose must help you harness data in newly powerful ways in order to provide a real step-change improvement to your consumer’s experience. Picture predictive offer engines–like you may use in eCommerce–in your brick and mortar store. A deep level of insight based on purchase history and consumer profile is necessary to increase offer relevance.
While we may still be a few years away from mass adoption of mobile payments as the standard across merchants and consumers, there is a more urgent need for businesses to prepare themselves to ensure they don’t lose ground to competitors.
Will you answer the call?