Brick and mortar businesses are an essential part of life. They give consumers instant access to goods and services, foster relationships and provide essential employment.
But the cost of living crisis is putting the squeeze on physical workplaces. Utility bills, supply chain costs, interest rates and wage thresholds are all on the rise. If your shop is a brick and mortar establishment, you might be facing some tough decisions over the coming months.
The good news is that there are steps you can take now to increase revenue and carry your business through the coming storm ahead.
Create an eCommerce shop
Your store may already have a website. But does it host an eCommerce shop that lets your customers order directly from their devices? If not, this is something you need to get up and running as soon as possible – for multiple reasons:
1. Get insights for growth
Tommy Gallagher is a digital transformation expert and founder of Top Mobile Banks. He says adding a digital storefront to your brand is great for more than just your sales.
‘Not only will opening an eCommerce platform allow you to sell products online from the comfort of your store,’ He explains, ‘it can also provide valuable data that is useful for marketing purposes. By keeping track of details such as customer feedback and spending habits over time, your store can make necessary changes or improvements that will help boost sales even further.’
2. Win new business
Aside from providing you with valuable data, adding an e-commerce website to your business can help expand your customer base.
Director of Brand at Kaiyo Grace Baena says exposing a new audience to your products can help drive sales, especially through the holiday season.
‘In the last couple of years, many consumers have turned toward online shopping due to its convenience and often lower price point.’ Says Grace, ‘Offering products through an eCommerce store can really help broaden your business’ reach and allows you to offer online promotions to attract customers worldwide.
3. Offer more variety
Sophia Jones is an Investment Analyst at PiggyBank. For her, an eCommerce store allows brick and mortar businesses to sell products online that they don’t carry in-store, like specialty items.
‘It also allows you to offer products at different price points than you would be able to if you were only selling through a physical storefront.’ She adds.
Shopify, Magento and Woocommerce are the three most popular platforms that merchants are using to drive online sales – and all three also integrate seamlessly with DivideBuy’s credit engine.
For practical support with setting up an eCommerce business, check out this handy guide.
Offer multiple payment methods at checkout
Consumers are looking to spread the cost on purchases big and small. Most merchants are happy to oblige them – provided this doesn’t impact cashflow.
This is where consumer finance and credit cards come into play. In both cases, the provider will pay you upfront for the purchase, and take care of collecting repayments from the customer themselves.
Here’s why you should consider this, both in your brick and mortar shop and online:
1. Increase your sales
Cicinia France MD Alice Eve knows the power of credit for retailers. ‘When you start selling on credit, your sales increase exponentially.’
She continues, ‘Customers are more likely to buy from you because their cash flow is not disrupted, and they do not have to pay upfront to competitors.’
2. Boost customer loyalty
‘Giving credit to customers shows trust.’ Alice reasons.
Of course, your POS finance provider is ultimately the one who does the trusting. But customers will still feel valued and respected by you, the business owner, who has decided to offer them this option.
‘The fact that you trust them to pay their bills on time fosters a long-term business relationship. When bidding for goods or services, a loyal customer is likely to choose you over another company.’
3. Turn more browsers into buyers
Stephen Jacobs, Chief Innovation Officer at Proximity Mills, says offering multiple payment options at checkout gives your customers the freedom of choice. ‘It also eliminates the possibility that a customer won’t complete an order due to not being able to use their preferred form of payment.’
DivideBuy’s consumer credit options let you set minimum spend thresholds and offer your customers the choice to pay over 2-12 months.
Our Eligibility Checker means they can assess their borrowing capacity, without hurting their credit score, and we can approve them for credit in just 60 seconds – increasing your conversions by up to 70%.
Bring credit options in-store
Brick and mortar businesses are often at the heart of local communities and serve a vital function which eCommerce platform can’t meet.
Whether or not you’re able to expand your business to include a digital platform, don’t let this stop you from offering finance options in your physical workplace too. Here’s why it’s a good idea:
1. Close sales on the spot
Signposting your credit solution will help you turn those ‘we’re just looking’ browsers into buyers – especially if they can successfully apply for credit right then and there.
DivideBuy’s Customer Order Portal lets you take customers through the entire credit process from the comfort of your shop (or even their home) in less than 60 seconds.
2. Make some noise
Advertise the fact you offer finance options around your shopfront. Making potential customers aware of this will help you stand out from competitors.
With DivideBuy, you’ll receive posters, banners and marketing support to help you advertise this option to prospective customers who might not have been able or willing to fork out otherwise.
3. Grow responsibly
Inez Stanway is CEO at leading eCommerce store LiveLaughCreate. She stresses the importance of using responsible lending practices when offering in-store POS finance.
‘Offering in-store credit is not without its risks. Businesses need to be careful to extend credit only to those who are likely to be able to repay it.’ Inez states, ‘In addition, you should make sure to clearly explain the terms of the credit program so that there are no misunderstandings down the road. When used carefully, however, in-store credit can be a powerful tool for retailers.’
DivideBuy’s commitment to ethical lending means we have higher acceptance and lower delinquency rates than other POS finance companies. This fact, alongside conversion rate increases of up to 70%, is just one of the reasons that hundreds of UK retailers are choosing us today.
To find out more about DivideBuy is supporting brick and mortar businesses with retail finance products you can use in-store, book a demo now.