In a world that is already moving rapidly toward mobile payment acceptance, it may come as a big surprise that 55 percent of the 15 million businesses in the U.S. still don’t take credit cards. The lack of credit card acceptance introduces significant friction to the sales process because it’s not easy for customers to pay with cash; most don’t even carry cash with them anymore. Not accepting credit results in approximately $100 billion in lost revenue each year. Businesses need to start accepting cash, credit and debit. While it’s true the credit card fees are a deterrent, the amount of business lost justifies shouldering this cost in order to provide customers with a better experience.
Another way to make it easy for customers to pay is to jump on board with mobile payment acceptance. In the second half of 2012, 95 percent of smartphones released were NFC-enabled. In real numbers, that means that 100 million handsets were shipped with NFC capabilities. This year, 285 million NFC handsets are expected to ship. While it will take some time for these capabilities to be put to full use in the market, other payment methods like QR codes allow for mobile-to-mobile acceptance that simplifies the hardware situation and gives merchants the option to start accepting mobile payments now with little upfront investment.
By removing friction from the sales process, merchants increase the likelihood of consumers completing the transaction. Whether this means incorporating credit cards or turning to mobile payment capabilities, your chance of moving consumers down the path to purchase increases.
Today’s consumers are smarter, more empowered and better connected than ever before. With competitors only a few clicks away, few businesses are actually the “only game in town,” making it increasingly important — and challenging — for merchants to attract and retain customers.
The businesses that will come out on top are the ones that learn how to harness the power of mobile technology to attract and retain customers. Here are five tips, identified by Henry Helgeson, CEO of Merchant Warehouse, to get those customers coming through the door.
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