Sales channels are the various ways that small businesses can reach their customers and make a sale. The most common sales channels include brick-and-mortar stores, online stores, catalogs, and direct sales. Each sales channel has its own benefits and drawbacks, and small businesses should carefully consider which channels will work best for them. Brick-and-mortar stores offer the benefit of allowing customers to see, touch, and try out products before they purchase them. However, they also require a significant investment in terms of rent and staff costs. Online stores have lower overhead costs, but they may have difficulty building customer trust. Catalogs provide a middle ground between online and brick-and-mortar stores, offering customers the convenience of shopping from home while still being able to see physical product samples. Direct sales are a great option for businesses that sell unique or high-end products, as they allow small businesses to build personal relationships with their customers.
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Data for today’s episode is provided by Mercator Advisory Group’s Report: Smart Point-of-Sale Terminals: A Rapid Transformation of Payments Acceptance
Sales Channels Used by U.S. Small Businesses
- 60% of U.S. small businesses use online/web sales.
- 45% of U.S. small businesses use telephone order.
- 45% of U.S. small businesses use physical store locations.
- 42% of U.S. small businesses use mobile apps.
- 22% of U.S. small businesses use mail order.
- 20% of U.S. small businesses use third-party platforms such as GrubHub and Amazon.
Mercator Advisory Group’s most recent report, Smart Point-of-Sale Terminals: A Rapid Transformation of Payments Acceptance provides insight into this exciting new technology, and what every merchant needs to know about it.
‘Smart terminals’ is a relatively new term in the payments lexicon, but one that is becoming more widely discussed among merchants of all sizes, types, and categories. The strategy that drives orchestration is nothing less than a paradigm shift in the way that merchants view payment service providers. Rather than conduct due diligence to select a “best-of-breed” service provider for each functional area within payments, orchestration allows merchants of all sizes and scales to offer their customers a smooth shopping experience, be it digital, in-person, or other channels. The growing diversity in payment methods, including contactless and e-wallets, creates an environment where having the right partner is paramount towards achieving your payments and overall business goals. The right payments partner will equip a merchant with the necessary capabilities to operate in this rapidly digitizing business environment, where automation and frictionless experiences are vital in ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty. Similarly, in order to help merchants provide these services, processors and other payments stakeholders must update their own services and products to keep up with the latest demands of the consumer market and regulatory requirements.
“This is a highly relevant and impactful report,” stated the author of the report, Shreyas Shaktikumar, Senior Analyst in the Merchant Services and Acquiring practice at Mercator Advisory Group. “We are following this trend among a number of similar technology trends that are making payments a frictionless and invisible part of our everyday activities.”