When it comes to making a success of your small business, you need to always focus on one thing: convenience. Nowadays, there are so many competitors in every single field that you need to ensure your customers experience little to no delays or problems when they attempt to make a transaction with you. You can make or break sales in a matter of moments, so you need to seize any interest and ensure that a sale is completed in as little time as possible. Now, there are plenty of different things that you can do to keep your potential customers engaged and encourage them to make a payment as soon as they settle on a particular item or service. But for now, let’s just focus on three: contactless or RFID payments, user centred web design, and free returns and exchanges.
Contactless and RFID
While the old saying goes that cash is King, the majority of customers nowadays use their cards to make purchases when they enter brick and mortar businesses. There are various reasons for this, but when it comes down to it, few people like carrying cash on them. So, you should do everything in your means to make card payments as fast and convenient for consumers as possible. The first option is to offer contactless card payments through a contactless card reader. This allows customers to make payments of up to £30 by simply passing their contactless card over the reader, eliminating their need to enter their PIN. An alternative is to offer payments through options such as Apple Pay, which use RFID Asset Tracking to take a payment when a customer swipes their phone over the contactless card reader. This allows people to make purchases from your store, even if they’ve left their purse or wallet at home or are awaiting a replacement card in the post.
User Centred Web Design
Increasing numbers of people are now opting to shop online rather than in the flesh and you need to jump on this trend if you want to maximise your profits. Operating online has so many benefits for both you and the customer. It’s cheaper (meaning you can lower the prices of the goods and wares you have to offer), you can operate around the clock (freeing potential customers from the constraints of store opening hours), and you can also engage with an international market (as long as you add international shipping). However, you do need to put a lot of thought into your web design when you set your online store up. Why? Well, studies have found that consumers only take a matter of moments to figure out whether they are going to stay on a site or close the tab and look elsewhere for what they want. If your webpage is difficult to navigate, chances are you’ll lose a whole lot of custom. So, collaborate with a web designer who specialises in user centred design (or UCD). They will ensure that your site has simple navigation, direct links to important pages, and a smooth checkout process.
Free Returns and Exchanges
Many customers feel a little anxious about handing over their cash, especially if they are purchasing something online (that they cannot see, feel, or try out in real life until it arrives), or if they are buying a gift for another person. So, you can put their mind at ease by offering the simple option of free returns and exchanges. Nine times out of ten, the customer or recipient of the gift is likely to be happy with the initial purchase and keep it. But the reassurance alone that they can get their money back should the item not be what they wanted will encourage them to make the purchase in the first place, rather than allowing them to hesitate and giving your competition an opportunity to swoop in and take the sale. Just make sure that you have clear terms and conditions laid out in-store and on your website regarding your refund and exchange policy. You should establish a specific time period that items must be returned within, and that they should be returned in the same condition that they were purchased in. This will prevent people from using products and attempting to return them later down the line, which could prove wasteful and costly on your part.
These are just three different areas that you should focus on in order to simplify your customers’ shopping experience. Not only will they make you a whole lot of profit, but they will also help you to build up a loyal customer base who will hopefully return time and time again!