Ah, the exchange of goods and services. It’s arguably one of the world’s oldest pastimes, and boy, it sure has changed. With the advancements in payment processing technologies, you no longer need to prime your best chicken for trade. In fact, to make payments, all you need to do is pull out your phone. Well, put down the chicken first, my friend, and let’s talk about how adopting Apple and Android Pay can change the way you do business as both a business owner and a consumer.
Are these applications safe?
The first concern I always hear with mobile payment applications is that of security. People are right to worry that their transactions could be jeopardized, or even worse, that their card information or bank accounts can be accessed. Let me clear that up right now. Your card and/or banking information is not what actually appears on the phone. The applications create a virtual card, one that relies on a relationship between Apple/Android and banks to process payments. So in reality, vendors receive less information from their customers than ever before. There is no entering a PIN, no typing a zip code and no sharing of card information.
So what’s the benefit?
On top of some added security and privacy, Apple and Android Pay offer customer convenience. The object our lives revolve around, the smartphone, is with us wherever we go no matter what we are doing. The ability to simply hover your phone over a machine and never have to dig for a wallet or sign a receipt is a mark of simplicity and modernity. At first glance, it feels like a novelty, but consumer reports suggest that as more vendors begin accepting Apple and Android Pay, it has the potential to become the norm. More and more customers are reaching for their phones at the register, so adoption of these services is imperative. Early adoption can help your business stay ahead of the curve and create a consistent experience at the point of sale.
Seven years ago American Express had the vision to proclaim the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday with the goal of driving holiday shoppers to small, local merchants. Through much hard work and promotion by American Express, the phrase now has the shopper mindshare equivalent to that of Black Friday & Cyber Monday. In 2016 American Express is expanding this concept to a season-long offering to benefit both local retailers and their customers.
The Democratization of Technology refers to the process by which access to technology rapidly continues to become more accessible to more people. Thanks to the mobile revolution, never has this democratization happened at a faster pace and is resulting is a huge boon to the local retailer.
The way your customers earn rewards is changing. . .
We’ve all been stuck behind that customer in line at the grocery store. You know, the one rifling through her purse, then her coat, and finally her keychain to produce her rewards card. We all have them. We all go through the same stages of panic as we realize— often too late — that we will need to present them at the register in order to reap the rewards. Well, those days are over. Just as the way we swipe credit cards has changed, the way businesses offer rewards has changed, and mobile loyalty programs are the new king.
Attracting local customers through social media
In recent years, social media has entered the zeitgeist of marketing. It has become imperative to have an online presence as a means of exposing customers to valuable information about businesses. Social media can be a way to inform, comment, advertise and promote. The best part? It’s free to start. A social media presence can fit into any marketing budget, and with steady monitoring, can become a personality-rich extension of your business online.
Written By Merrell Sheehan
Hyperlocal marketing has been with us for decades in multiple forms: yellow pages, billboards, direct mail, newspapers, and numerous other mediums. Today, consumer mobile adoption has created the “perfect storm” for Main Street small business success. In this age of the Internet, GPS and QR codes, small business CEOs can easily leverage some sophisticated digital marketing tools to reach local audiences, build awareness neighborhood by neighborhood, and make the most of a limited marketing budget. (more…)
What the rise of mobile search means for your business
Very quickly, let’s recap the two statistics presented in the overview of hyperlocal marketing in the first article of this series, because they provide a foundation for understanding what emphasis on the marketing strategy can do:
The importance of online business listings
Let’s face it, in your quest to find some nearby Chinese takeout you’re not reaching for the yellow pages. You’re going to search online. In today’s world, coming up in online search results grounds your business in the reality of your customers. It’s how your company can be right in front of your customers at any given time. And without overwhelming name recognition, a strong presence on local directories is your ticket to the local market.
What is Hyperlocal Marketing?
Simply put, hyperlocal marketing is marketing oriented to a defined geographic area—usually a local region, town, community, etc. The idea is to attract local customers and turn them into repeat customers. Hyperlocal marketing has been a part of business since the inception of business itself. While it initially existed as yellow pages, newspapers and direct mail, the term has taken on new meaning in the digital era. Basically, the popularity of search engines coupled with the ubiquity of mobile phones has shifted the marketing landscape to give the power of hyperlocal marketing back to small businesses. Understanding how this digital landscape works will help you connect with and retain your customers.
My story begins on January 5, 2010 when I tapped my first Foursquare check-in at a Skyline Chili and ends today … 60 days since my 5,000th (and last) check-in on Foursquare. Since that last check-in, I’ve had daily urges to whip out my iPhone and tap that Foursquare icon. I know I should move the icon from its coveted position on my home screen and maybe even bury the icon in my “elephant graveyard” folder labeled “Infrequent.” But alas, one day at a time.
We have recently released a Facebook Advertising Guide for Small Business Owners to help our merchants expand their digital reach on a minimal spend. In this guide, you will learn how to build a Facebook Advertising Campaign that converts through detailed, step-by-step instructions that take you from ad creation, to customizing an audience. We also offer expert tips for successfully managing a campaign once it is launched. (more…)
As a result of security concerns and point of sale data breaches at companies like Home Depot and Target, U.S. credit and debit card companies are releasing EMV cards that are much more secure than traditional magnetic stripe cards. Card companies have pushed businesses to update their card processing equipment to accommodate the new EMV cards that are being released, and businesses are now liable if they don’t. (more…)