Business owners in 2016 know that fighting for each consumer’s dollar can be a challenge. That is why sales planning is on the rise. Business owners need to provide options to their customers. It’s not like it used to be: cash is not king anymore.
With many consumers feeling the economic pinch, they have become more selective when it comes to selecting who they will do business with. As a result, business owners need to make sure they have as much as possible to offer each and every consumer who walks through their doors or does business with them over the phone or online.
So, how can you as a business owner tilt the consumer in favor of you?
Maintain Customer Relationships
The most important thing you can do to stay competitive is maintain existing customer relationships. This may mean calling your long-term customers on the phone to speak with them about new product or service offerings. Or, it could be as simple as mailing out coupons to previous customers or including coupons on purchase receipts. Maintaining customer relationships is a simple and effective way to stay competitive in a tough economic time.
Take Credit For The Right Selections
One way to swing things in your favor is by allowing customers to charge their purchases with you.
Yes, while many businesses already do this, don’t be surprised by the fact that some companies still rely on cash and check purchases only. While it may seem outdated in 2016, it is a fact.
According to Community Merchants USA, 66 percent of all point-of-sales (POS) transactions are done via plastic – credit, debit, or gift cards, while 27 percent of sales are made with cash. If you’re not part of that 66 percentile, you are missing out on some key business transactions.
According to Chris Mettler of CompareCards.com, having the right credit card provider for your business is critical.
“With more consumers opting for plastic charges over cash these days, business owners need to be prepared for such purchases. Offering the right card or cards for purchases allows your business to keep pace or even outdo the competition,” Mettler stated.
In order for you to best market the fact that you offer credit card purchases for your products and services, advertise that very fact.
Ways to do that without breaking the bank include:
You can get much freer than social media. With the right social media strategy, you can let customers know that you offer credit card purchases on a wide variety of products and services. For starters, use a Facebook fan page to let customers know about special deals if they charge items with you. You can also use a Pinterest page to highlight photos of the different products and services you have available. Again, letting them know that they can receive discounts and specials when charging with you is a good idea.
One item that too many businesses do not take advantage of is blogging. Whether on your own website or via guest blogging on other sites, putting together a little 300 or so word article even just once or twice a week can enhance your business profile. This is a method used by the writers of many entrepreneur books. So you know it is effective. Let’s say you run an office supply business and you want to promote some upcoming specials. Blogging about it is relatively quick and many times free.
Finally, make sure your customers tell other folks about how they saved money and got great deals with you by charging their purchases. Each time a customer leaves your business happy, it increases the odds they will tell one or more people about their experience. While some consumers are reluctant to charge items these days for fear of running up a big credit tab, make them want to charge with you. Specials, cash-back deals on credit card usage etc. will only help increase your long-term revenue stream, so spread the word. There is a reason this trend is so prevalent in e-commerce news.