Big change yields big opportunity. While the current climate brings high levels of uncertainty and adversity, times like these can also foster innovation and positive changes in business models.
For example, consider the payments experience. Currently, nearly every state has mandated that non-essential businesses close their doors to customers and shift to pick-up or delivery models — a big adjustment for businesses, but an even bigger opportunity.
Many consumers want to help small businesses survive this crisis. But to support their local SMBs, consumers require safe, easy payment options. And that creates an opportunity. It’s time to determine whether your payments experience aligns with your customers’ changing payments expectations.
Today’s small businesses require omnichannel payments that support frictionless customer experiences
For small businesses offering delivery and pickup options, online and mobile payments are essential to purchase routines when physical storefronts are off limits. However, strategic online selling hinges on customers who engage with your business and come back for more — across all available channels. An omnichannel customer relationship requires a payment solution that enables a frictionless customer experience, making it easy for customers to buy and engage with your business now and after the pandemic is over.
This could be new territory if you rely on older point-of-sale (POS) terminals that lack flexibility and interactive functionality. But in a time of rapid change and uncertainty, you should consider how investing in modern, integrated payment technology could help make up lost revenue now and compete with enterprises in the years ahead.
The good news is that many of today’s e-commerce tools are cloud-based. They are easy to implement and easy for customers to use, and they help make enrollment a near-instant, automatic and part of the checkout process. With cloud-based e-commerce tools, you can conveniently offer an emailed receipt option or collect an email and password in exchange for a discount.
For example, SpotOn, an intelligent payments solution company, recently rolled out integrated online ordering and curbside pickup for its restaurant customers, waiving the setup and monthly fee until January of 2021. And Arryved, a POS system for the craft beverage industry, pulled together an online ordering system so their customers could continue to sell while remaining physically closed to the public. This includes a mobile pay app to support contactless payment for walk ups as well as future on-premise sales The system is free for current customers, fully integrated and easy to set up — customers are going live with their online stores within days, allowing them to quickly supplement lost revenue. In the long run, these businesses now have the ability to follow their customers across multiple channels and deliver personalized experiences post-pandemic.
Don’t forget about the power of contactless payments
The World Health Organization recommends the use of contactless payments to reduce the need for touching a payment terminal or physically exchanging cash, removing another potential touchpoint for infection. This has inspired increased usage in the UK and Europe, where the method was already popular, as well as an increase in the contactless spending limits.
The U.S. has a higher spending limit of $100 on contactless payments, which will help support an influx of contactless payments on everyday purchases. However, as a whole, the country has fallen far behind Europe when it comes to contactless payment adoption, both in mobile users for Apple Pay or Samsung Pay and in contactless cards. This is a good time for small businesses to embrace the trend and support the use of this safe payment method, which given its ease-of-use, will likely increase over the long term.
Innovating payments can save small businesses now — and guarantee success in the future
As a small business, the current crisis presents an opportunity to rethink the way you do business. By experimenting with new ordering and payment options, you can not only provide the speed, convenience and good hygiene consumers currently need, but also create a more robust payment ecosystem for future sales.
With up-to-date, omnichannel and frictionless payment experiences, small businesses gain the ability to combine the advanced features of an enterprise-level retailer with the personalized experience of a small business, which allows you to compete with bigger enterprises moving forward and more securely weather the coronavirus storm.