There are many factors that play a part in every consumer’s purchase. The thought process involves quality of the product or service, value for money, and urgency – just to name a few. As a business, you must take into account as many of these concerns as you possibly can. Taking one hurdle out of your customer’s purchasing decision process could mean the difference between a successful sale and a missed opportunity.
So why risk it?
In this article, we’ve listed down four main reasons why your business should start accepting more than just cash payments.
1. Your customers have preferences. Listen to them.
Numerous studies have shown that shoppers prefer using credit cards over cash. A consumer survey by FICO revealed that 83% of consumers aged 25-34 years old use credit cards on a regular basis. And 77% of them are likely to continue using credit cards in the next five years.
This means that more than 3 out of 4 of the age group with the highest purchasing power are likely to try and use their card at your store. Most credit cards offer cash back or flight miles, so it’s not surprising that people want to take advantage of these rewards.
With the credit card processing software available these days, it’s actually easy to provide consumers with the option to use their credit or debit cards. You’ll have a card reader in the palm of your hand for a quick swipe after a purchase. Your customers will be in and out in no time, and with no hassle at all. Some credit card processing software even have inventory tracking built in — which means your customers will never come in wanting something, only to for you to find that it’s out of stock.
2. You can help ease the burden of ballooning ATM fees.
Though it’s not much effort to make a trip to a nearby ATM to withdraw cash before buying something, the recent rise in ATM fees may just cancel out that ease.
According a recent BankRate survey, out-of-network ATM withdrawals recently hit a record high of $4.69 on average per transaction. That’s almost $15 dollars a week if you make three separate withdrawals.
Having alternative payment options will cater to your customers who don’t feel comfortable carrying large sums of cash in their wallets. Put their minds at ease by showing them that you’re open to whatever mode of payment they prefer.
3. Consumers like options. Provide them.
Though cash is still widely used, it is no longer the primary mode of payment across the United States. According to Gallup News, the percentage of Americans who use cash to make most of their purchases dropped by almost 10% last year compared to five years ago. Plus, 12% of Americans stated that they don’t use cash at all for any of their purchases.
Being able to accommodate those who still use cash, as well as those who are moving away from it, will help both the consumers and your business. Have the means to let your customers use their cards if cash isn’t readily available, and vice versa.
4. Offer the luxury of convenience to your customers.
Not only can you increase the number of people who buy at your store by not being cash only, you should also consider opening an online store to reach an even wider audience. According to EuroITGroup, online shopping went up by 45% last year. Statistics from BigCommerce also reveal that 51% of Americans prefer shopping online, which makes online shopping just as popular now as purchasing from a physical store.
More and more people are embracing online shopping. The idea of being able to get what they want without leaving the comfort of their own home is becoming more appealing, especially with the rise of next day or even same day delivery.
Providing your customers with an easy way to acquire your products, proper security, and a good return policy, will make them feel safe and welcome.
With payment preferences varying across the board, you want to give your customers as many options as you can. Don’t isolate any of your customer base. Instead, broaden your business horizons and keep them coming back!