It’s important for business owners to integrate popular, new technology into their business models. It’s not that technology is necessary for the business to run, but business owners need to make sure their business is reaching its potential. To illustrates, a website may not be required for a brick and mortar small business to operate, but not having a website puts a business at a severe disadvantage to a site that is online. Mobile payments have become important in a similar way to brick-and-mortar retailers. This article will show why business owners should add mobile payments and how they can use the feature in marketing to increase their revenue.
For technology that was only introduced in the past five years, mobile wallets have become an important part of the American economy. Nielsen recently released a study titled, “The Modern Wallet: Mobile Payments are Making Life Easier” that found 29 percent of Americans who use mobile payments have annual household incomes over $100,000. Additionally, 40 percent of US mobile wallet users use mobile methods as their primary mode of payment. And as for demographics, 55% of Americans who use mobile payments are aged 18-34, 35 percent for 35-54, and 10 percent for 55+. There is clearly a market for retailers who cater to this growing number of mobile wallet users. It also reinforces the need for a functional mobile site. People that pay with mobile devices likely search for information that way as well.
Adding mobile payments can be a tremendous boon for brick-and-mortar retailers. This is why adding mobile payments can become an important selling point in marketing materials. The fact that a business accepts the prefered payment method of some consumers will greatly increase their foot traffic and revenue. The current rise of BitCoin is a good example. While we think it’s too soon to recommend that small business owners start accepting volatile cryptocurrency, the fact that only a few businesses accept BitCoin have made these retailers highly visible and desirable to BitCoin users proves the value of having a certain payment option.
For those who doubt that something like mobile payments can affect consumer behavior in a similar way, consider that this has been seen in the past with free WiFi and PayPal. Though some have been slow to pick up on the trend, many restaurants now have free WiFi because they know it will attract mobile device users and laptop-wielding workers. Restaurant owners in particular would be wise to take notice of mobile payments because according to Nielsen, 49 percent of Americans who use mobile payments have done so at restaurants.
The same is true for PayPal, to a lesser extent. PayPal has teamed up with some national brands, like Dollar General and Advanced Auto Parts, to let PayPal users shop at those stores and pay directly through their PayPal account with their mobile number. In both cases, business owners have improved their sales by using these features as part of their marketing. Business with WiFi or PayPal often have these features prominently shown in banners or on their website.
Adding mobile payments is just part of the growing trend of combining the online and offline shopping experience. Business owners can’t allow themselves to start thinking that new technology isn’t for them because they aren’t online or that adding more internet-enable components takes away from the business as a whole.
“The relationship between e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar stores is all too often painted as a kind of zero-sum game. However today’s consumers want online and offline channels to collaborate, not compete, to deliver the ‘always open, always available, always informed’ shopping experience they expect,” said Consultant Chris Jones in a study by IMRG on the collaboration of online and offline channels.
Business owners who have mobile payments can use discounts to increase the number of mobile wallet users who buy from their store. According to the Nielsen report, 69 percent of Americans who use mobile payments would do so as their primary payment method if merchants offered discounts specific to purchases made via mobile wallet. When you add in the statistics mentioned at the start about the of this article on the financial demographics of mobile wallet users, it’s clear that such a discount could greatly increase the revenue of a retailer. Though admittedly, this is harder for retailers who accept American Express since their rules generally forbid merchants for offering a discount to consumers who use another form of payment.
Mobile payments are growing in importance for the average American consumer and business owners need to be ready to meet that demand. While accepting mobile payments is still a novel idea for small businesses, business owners can greatly increase their profile with shoppers by being the place that accepts their favorite form of payment. This means that besides adding the technology to accept mobile payments, retailers also need to market these features to their target audience. This means using traditional marketing channels and internet marketing tools to get the word out.