Mobile payments give customers payment flexibility and simplify your point-of-sale process. However, they also deliver plenty of tangible benefits that extend beyond the checkout experience. Here’s a look at how mobile payments can help you increase customers.
Give customers confidence in a quick checkout. Humans really don’t like to wait — whether for an airplane, an elevator or to pay for an item. Though as one New York Times article states, there are some factors that make waiting particularly torturous, including lack of distraction during the wait, and no sense for how long a wait will last. The authors write that uncertainty magnifies the stress of waiting (explaining why it’s common for airlines to indicate how long a delay is expected to be, and why amusement parks tell customers how long it will take them to reach the front of a line).
Mobile payments don’t just reduce the customer’s wait; they remove the negative visual cue of a checkout line. They also give customers who visit your business at least once confidence about what they can expect from your checkout processes in the future — even if they don’t purchase on their first visit.
In short, mobile payments eliminate the uncertainty that the New York Times authors note can be such a source of stress to humans confronted with a wait. When mobile payments are part of your point-of-sale process, customers can pay from anywhere in the store (or an off-site location) the moment they wish, using the form of payment they prefer. Aside from providing customized service, customers are likely to remember mobile payments assure them they will never face an unexpected wait when visiting your store.
Demonstrate that customers are your priority. Mobile payments offer tangible benefits to your business’s bottom line, which may include decreased operating costs, streamlined processes and a greater return on investment from your sales team. Plus, when you allow customers to pay with a debit or credit card, they may spend more than they would if cash were the only payment option, and be less likely to second guess a purchase, which often happens when waiting in a checkout line.
Yet customers aren’t likely to view mobile payments as a tool intended to better your business. Instead, mobile payments can help ensure the customer has a positive experience. Mobile payments put customers in control of when, where and how they want to pay. As Entrepreneur contributor Daniel Newman points out, making customers feel important, without pressure to buy, is critical for any business hoping to build positive customer relationships.
Lure customers back with relevant marketing offers. Giving customers a discount on a future purchase may incentivize them to return — but only if the offer is relevant to the products they want to buy. Many mobile payments allow you to customize marketing campaigns based on purchase behavior. Once reserved for large companies with robust data analytics, this customized marketing approach ensures the offers that customers receive are presented appropriately — based on their past purchases. For example, if the customer redeemed a $10 off promotion in the past using mobile payment, you can customize a marketing message that offers him or her a similar discount on a future visit.
Show customers you can compete with larger retailers. Mobile payments can help to mitigate the differences customers may wrongly presume exist between a small shop and a major retailer. Much like megabrands, like Apple, that give customers the flexibility to pay anywhere in the store, so can your business when you use mobile payments. The more you demonstrate to customers that you are equipped to provide the same level of service as larger retailers, the more you can reduce the perceived perceptions they may have about the size of your business, the quality of products you offer, or the prices you’re able to command.
Mobile payments can enhance your business’s cash flow, lower your operating costs, and arm more of your sales team with the capability to turn customers who are “just browsing” into buyers. However, they also send the message that the customer’s experience is first priority — a key to your success in increasing customers and building loyalty.
Has your business adopted mobile payments? Share your experience with mobile payments in the comments below.
Originally published Mar 09, 2016, updated Aug 07, 2020