There is no shortage of technology options for businesses these days. And, I’m sure that comes as no surprise to you.
You've probably been bombarded with daily calls about the the hottest new advertising platform while your inbox continues to overflow with emails about the latest and greatest marketing tools. Then, when you least expect it, someone calls about their revolutionizing software that can increase your sales by 200 percent.
Sound about right?
"If almost all small business owners agree that new technology will help their operation thrive, why are so few taking advantage of it?"
In a recent study of more than 500 small businesses by American Express, four in five owners agree that technology can help make their business more productive, increase sales and provide a competitive advantage. However, 32 percent of small business owners consider their operations to be lagging when it comes to technology use, while only 12 percent feel their operations are leading-edge. If almost all small business owners agree that new technology will help their operation thrive, why are so few taking advantage of it?
At Revzi, our team consults with hundreds of businesses each month, and most operators say that costs in various forms, confusion on where to spend time and money, and the potential for complicating the customer experience remains the primary barrier to implementing more technology in their operation.
That being said, we’ve found that the best place for businesses to find revenue-driving technology is within the systems and platforms they are already using and are anecessary to operate their establishment. There are companies that have disrupted virtually every aspect of hardware and software in a way that can help your business grow sales. And, the best place to start is by assessing your current technology. For example;
1. Your POS system should be capable of doing more than just tracking sales.
Point-of-sale systems are just that; the point where the sale happens. This is also the place where your customer pays for their product or service, and where the most value can derived.
Smart payment systems can track sales and customer data for promotion or campaigns in-house and online, providing a true understanding of your return-on-investment (ROI) from your marketing efforts. They should also be able to allow your customers to obtain receipts via email or text message, which allows you to repurpose those contacts and reach out to your customers post-sale for an online review (since 3 out of 4 consumers now read online reviews before trying a new business, online reviews should be a core focus for all businesses looking to grow).
After the sale, your POS should seamlessly sync with your accounting platform, keeping your CPA happy and books in order.
2. Your social media sites should be used for more than just posting pictures and updates.
If you’re like most businesses, you have a social media page to stay relevant, keep customers updated about your business, and post interesting articles or pictures that build brand awareness. What you may be not realize is that your social media pages provide you with the largest audience of your businesses ideal clients. Facebook alone now has more than 2 billion users. The combination of running the right content, targeting the exact “lookalike” customers, and connecting the proper tools to capture and engage with those prospects can target your ideal share of those 2 billion users and turn your business into a sales machine.
3. Your payments processor should be doing more than charging your fees for moving money around.
Yes, there is actually valuable data you may be missing out on with every swipe of a card. Credit card processors are a dime-a-dozen, so it’s vital to work with one that provides growth producing results for small businesses. There is so much data stored on your customer’s credit cards and it’s a shame to only use that information to see if a transaction is approved or declined.
"Yes, there is actually valuable data you may be missing out on with every swipe of a card."
For example, at Revzi, we show our clients how to capture card data and marry it with POS reports. The combination of the two can tally things like the names of all of your customers, how often they visit, and even what products and services they have utilized in the past. Analytics based processors can also tell you how your sales break down between first time visitors and repeat customers, the products or services most likely to bring customers back in the door, or what your business might be selling well but customers do not appear to be returning afterwards.
When auditing your current technology, make sure you choose products that work behind the scenes and don't cause extra headaches for your employees or customers. The systems you select should make it easy for customers checkout seamlessly and continue to return in the future. Look for companies with a proven track record that have plenty of success stories. Technology is ever changing in today’s business environment, and tools are now in place to help a mom-and-pop shop compete with national brands.
You might even want to bite the bullet and go sift through a couple of those sales emails.
We help our clients use data to drive their business outcomes with best-in-class analytics software and payments technology. Our products help businesses better understand their customers and improve operational efficiency to grow sales. We've helped more than 1,500 restaurant, retail, healthcare, auto and many other businesses grow to more than $1 billion in annual sales.