Now, more than ever, customers are looking for flexibility in their booking and payment options. On the other hand, many small businesses are looking to maximise profits following two years of uncertainty. As COVID-19 supercharges the transition to cashless payments and younger customers embrace ‘buy now, pay later’ platforms, it’s important you stay up-to-date with what your consumers expect from your business.
Here we detail what to consider and provide answers, including simple solutions from Telstra’s business payment partner, Tyro.
Offer diverse payment options
Offering diverse payment options gives your customers the freedom to purchase in ways that suit them. In fact, the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Customer Experience found that 17% of consumers would stop considering a small business they haven’t used before if their preferred payment method was not available. But with so many payment types on the market, it can be tricky to choose what’s right for you.
Even prior to COVID-19, cashless payment methods were on the rise. According to the Customer Experience report, 82% of consumers were using tap and pay with a credit card or smartphone by December 2019. There are a few ways your business can navigate the question of going cashless. First, you need to weigh up whether tap and pay will net you more business and if it will cover the costs of merchant fees. Then, you’ll need to decide whether to include this fee in the price of your goods or add a small surcharge if customers choose to pay by card. Next, consider what systems and tech you’ll need to enable cashless payments, for example via mobile solutions on a network, like Tyro’s mobile EFTPOS.
Buy now, pay later
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) options like AfterPay and Zip Pay are gaining popularity as alternatives to credit cards – especially with younger customers and those looking to purchase big-ticket items. Despite their rise, the Customer Experience report found that only 9% of small businesses surveyed offer it to their customers. Of those who offer BNPL, 72% say offering the service has encouraged more customers to spend with them.
Sam de Bruin, founder of Karmic Cold Pressed Juice, says that since implementing buy now, pay later, the service now accounts for around 10–15% of total sales. His tip for deciding whether a payment type is right for you? “You have to work out who your target market is. If they’re younger, then they’re probably going to want ‘buy now, pay later’.”
If you’d like to offer a buy now, pay later service, first consider whether your customers use them and if you are missing out on high value sales transactions by not offering them. The fees associated with BNPL services are often higher than EFTPOS merchant fees, so think about whether you need to build them into the cost of your goods. It’s also worth considering how well a system can integrate with your current point of sale, accounting and eCommerce setups. Both online and in-store, Tyro provides an option to process BNPL transactions through their EFTPOS machine, as long as the provider issues a Visa or Mastercard with their service.
Let customers make reservations or bookings online
When it comes to making online bookings – whether that’s reserving a table at a restaurant or booking a hair appointment – customers are looking for a smooth user experience.
The Customer Experience report revealed a significant gap in how important easy booking is for consumers and how important small businesses think it is. While 62% of consumers surveyed said the ability to make online bookings is important or very important, only 47% of small businesses thought this was the case.
If your business deals in appointments, scheduling or reservations, taking advantage of existing technologies and integrating it with your point of sale (POS) software will make bookings smooth for your customers and help you manage your own time and calendars. Tyro integrates with a number of different providers such as Timely, Netbookings, and NewBook. Many of these can provide options to process a reservation fee or pay in full for the booking in advance, making it more convenient for the customer and preventing lost income from cancellations.
Create a seamless checkout experience
Once a customer has decided to shop with you, it’s essential your payment system is fast and efficient. If you’re setting up an online store, explore ways to reduce any friction at checkout. Consider adding features like saved customer details, using payment providers like GooglePay and PayPal, or implementing the ability to input credit card details using a smartphone camera. Make sure your website is up-to-scratch, mobile-responsive, fast and secure. Keep tabs on shopping cart abandonments as you may have a website issue or clunky checkout experience that is costing you sales.
When in-store, offer ways to speed up the process. Apps like Skip are great for hospitality businesses, giving customers the opportunity to ‘skip’ the coffee or takeaway food queue. This opens the doors to new customers who otherwise may not have the time to order. If you have a retail business, providing a ‘click and collect’ option allows your customers the convenience of shopping online, while avoiding postal delivery wait-times by allowing them to pick-up their order when it’s ready.
No matter where your work takes you, don’t forget to ensure you have a reliable business internet connection (with back-up) to facilitate cashless and mobile transactions. One way to do this is through Tyro. Their recent partnership with Telstra means their EFTPOS machines have built-in 3G and 4G back-up.
Integrate your online and in-store experiences
Choosing online and in-store systems that work with each other is a great way to bring consistency and reliability to your business. John Stribling, the Head of Business Development at Ecwid, stresses the importance of integration.
“If you have an in-person retail space, ensuring your eCommerce platform works with your POS is essential to scaling eCommerce without hassles,” he explains. Linking your online store with your in-store point of sale software can go a long way to facilitating seamless transactions for your customers.
Tyro offers a way to take payment in-store with Tyro EFTPOS or online with Tyro eCommerce solutions.
Ultimately, no one knows your business as well as you do. While introducing new payment methods might bring in new customers and increase your revenue, it’s important to take the time to compare providers and platforms to ensure they align with your business model.