4 Revolutionary Selling Tools Available to Small Businesses
Local retailers face an uphill battle when competing against national brands. They simply don't have the money that the big guys do to spend on best-in-class marketing and business technology. In the last couple of years, however, many companies have started developing technology for small retailers that was once only available to large chains. Innovation in consumer financing technologies, payment card acceptance, e-commerce fraud prevention and loyalty marketing services is helping small businesses take on their larger counterparts.
1. Offering consumers financing can increase sales. Consumer financing is an often underutilized tool for generating sales. However, new products are making it an option for more retailers. Consumers buy more when they can pay later. Large retailers, especially those selling big-ticket items like refrigerators, washing machines and home theater systems, use this element of consumer behavior to their advantage. They can often afford to offer interest-free financing promotions, or they can partner with banks to issue their own store-branded credit cards.
Since the financial crisis, consumers have become more aware of the interest rates they're paying on their credit cards. This has made interest-free financing even more important than before. Small businesses, from retailers to service-based businesses, are usually unable to offer consumer financing because they don't have enough cash to make loans to their customers, and credit card programs are too expensive and demanding to manage. Also, their small size makes them generally unattractive to the banks that issue store-branded credit cards.
Bill Me Later, a PayPal service, is an example of a service that helps online sellers offer a financing option to their customers. Customers who pay with Bill Me Later at checkout can qualify for six-months financing (provided by Bill Me Later and WebBank) on all purchases of $99 or more. Merchants can advertise Bill Me Later financing with banner ads on home, product and shopping cart pages. These ads are provided by PayPal, deployed with a simple copy-and-paste function, and shouldn't require any developer experience. Although Bill Me Later has been around for years, the promotional messaging capability is just now being offered to smaller online sellers.