8 ways merchant credit card processing companies can empower you to sell more
What’s the magic bullet for selling more of your products or services? Is there one?
While the answers to these questions vary as widely as the types of products and services being sold, it makes sense for today’s businesses to focus their efforts on reaching customers wherever they are. And in today’s economy, that means in-store, online, on their mobile devices, and everywhere in between. In the payments world, we like to call that “omnichannel” or “omnicommerce” shopping. But as consumers we just call it “shopping” and tend to do more of it when our favorite retailers make it easy.
It’s a lot for business owners like you to tackle on their own. Making it seem easy for a consumer is, well, kind of hard. That’s why the best merchant credit card processing companies offer solutions specifically designed to drive this type of shopper experience, and eliminate some of the headaches.
Here’s one concrete example of how omnicommerce can work from the perspective of a retailer: Bobbie’s Backroads sells new and used bicycles and accessories.
- The business is known for its friendly staff and expansive inventory and operates out of three locations as well as an online site.
- Since inventory varies by location and can sell quickly, the online site offers a feature for customers to check whether the item they want is in stock and if not, when it will be.
- Customers can also reserve a bike to “test-ride” from the location of their choice.
- On Bobbie’s Backroads’ Facebook page, followers who post pictures of themselves with their new bikes are entered into a drawing for a “Bike Bonus Bag.”
- Bobbie’s also offers free shipping and for those really excited to try out their new wheels, curbside “Pick-up & Spin-It.”
- Returns are accepted both in-store and online, depending on the condition of the merchandise.
What can we learn from Bobbie’s Backroads? To begin with, the business has dialed into seamless shopping by connecting digital and in-store experiences effectively. Let’s look at 8 ways an omnicommerce strategy helps businesses like Bobbie’s sell more smartly.
1. Manage inventory
There’s nothing more frustrating to a consumer than to research an item online, go to the brick and mortar location to purchase it, and discover it’s not in stock. Tracking inventory across all channels is not just important, it’s essential to meeting customer expectations. In fact, 58 percent of shoppers indicate a moderate satisfaction level with being able to check inventory online and pick up in store.
2. Make returns easier
The ability to purchase an item online and return in-store is becoming more commonplace. Not only does it allow consumers to avoid the hassle of return shipping, but it gives the merchant a chance to save the sale by talking with the customer in person and suggesting an alternative item.
3. Speed-up checkout
One-click online purchasing and in-store mobile payment systems facilitate faster and easier transactions, which enhance customer satisfaction. Additionally, accepting all payment types, from physical cards to mobile wallets, helps merchants meet varying customer preferences.
4. Cultivate customer loyalty
Most busy consumers can’t be bothered with clipping coupons, but digital coupons are usually well-used. Retailers like Bobbie’s Backroads that offer a digital coupon with a purchase not only encourage a repeat visit, but help cultivate long-term customer loyalty. Vantiv research reveals that 46 percent of consumers join loyalty programs because of the automatic discounts available at time of purchase.
5. Offer hassle-free pickup
Curbside pickup is becoming more popular as businesses meet consumer preferences for increased convenience. A popular feature for quick-serve restaurants and grocery stores, curbside pickup has the potential to increase customer satisfaction for many other retail verticals as well.
6. Optimize customer service
Lack of personal help can be a deterrent to shopping online for some consumers, but new technologies like live chat and virtual assistant are helping bridge the gap. Both enhance the online buyer’s experience by providing easily accessible customer support, and are readily available to all merchant types.
7. Provide free shipping
Unexpected shipping costs is a common reason for shopping cart abandonment, so offering free shipping can go a long way in securing a sale. In fact, free shipping has become an integral piece of a seamless online experience since it removes a major barrier between browsing and purchasing.
8. Protect sensitive data
While accepting EMV chip cards helps merchants protect themselves from fraud on in-store purchases, other considerations must be made for online transactions. Payment security solutions like tokenization and encryption, as well as advanced fraud detection tools, add additional, necessary layers of protection against fraud and data theft. Consumers are increasingly aware of fraud threats and look to businesses to provide the necessary protections. Vantiv research indicates that 61 percent of consumers believe the extra security is worth the time it takes to process EMV cards.
If you’re interested in increasing your sales by delivering your customers a seamless omnicommerce experience, let’s talk. Smart processors like Vantiv are a hub of commerce innovation and can help you build the right solution for your business. The time has come to view your merchant credit card processor as your partner to help cut through the clutter of business decisions you face. Together, we can make your business mighty impressive.