As your customers’ preferences and expectations evolve over time, your business needs to too. Change is a natural part of life and businesses are no different. What customers want and how they want it is not the same now as it was 5 or 10 years ago.
There are many examples of businesses that didn’t evolve with changing consumer tastes. For example, Kodak invented the world’s first digital camera in the 1970s, but because they didn’t want to jeopardise film sales, they let other companies innovate before them. Similarly, Blockbuster passed up the opportunity to buy Netflix because they thought its business model would never take off. And supermarkets that failed to capitalise on a growing vegan trend early, now find themselves trying to catch up in this fast-growing market.
With this in mind, we have two top tips which can help you to evolve with your customers.
Update your customer profiles
Selling products in your particular market, you probably have a good idea who your customers are. It might be a general sketch that you have in your mind or it could be a set of exact customer personas. Whatever it is, don’t let it become too rigid. Retailers should constantly refresh their customer personas, charting where they come from, how old they are, their gender, what they’re interested in and how much disposable income they have.
You’ll be able to get some of this information from online orders, but for other things, try and talk to customers face to face or on the phone. These ‘living’ personas will leave space for customer changes and may help you tap into upcoming niches that you didn’t even know existed.
Keep up with your customers’ payment preferences
How customers choose to buy things can change rapidly in a very short space of time. Who would have thought, 20 years ago, that big high street names like Woolworths, Toys R Us, Thomas Cook, Mothercare and Laura Ashley would have bitten the dust, unable to cope with the boom in online shopping? More recently, another silent revolution has changed the way people pay for things online: POS finance.
Point of sale (POS) finance deals are not new. A consumer can put down a deposit and split the remaining cost into a series of monthly payments. These kinds of deals allow customers to buy things they may not wish to purchase in full and they enable retailers to maximise their revenues. A report from research firm Forrester found that offering POS finance increases sales by an average of 17%, and order value by 15%.
Keep up with market environments
Keeping up with an ever-changing environment allows you to stay on top of external factors that may affect your customers. These include national interest and exchange rates, which have an influence on the general trading climate and are not just a matter of direct costs. They also include any competitors, both existing ones and new ones, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. New technologies and innovations could also change the market and increase or reduce the demand for your existing product or service. New technologies can also change the way your customers pay for their items.
The problem with ‘traditional’ POS finance is that it usually comes with further costs – namely, interest. POS finance deals usually charge interest on the amount you borrow, so the customer ends up paying more for the same item than if they bought it outright. This is where DivideBuy can give retailers a real competitive advantage.
DivideBuy’s POS finance option is entirely interest free. Customers can split the cost of their purchase over anything from 2 to 12 months, and aren’t charged more than the price of the order. It is quick and easy to integrate with DivideBuy across all point of sale platforms, while seamlessly integrating online and phone ordering applications. And our expert installation team could have you up and running within days.
More and more customers are using POS finance to make their purchases. Make sure your business doesn’t get left behind. To find out how DivideBuy can help your online business increase sales and basket values, book a demo today.