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The world’s fastest-growing brands have something in common: they are continuously iterating and improving upon their customer experience — from implementing website chatbots, to personalised loyalty programs and more. As a result, consumers are increasingly beginning to expect the same from their local businesses.
Putting the consumer at the heart of your service has a myriad of benefits, from helping to increase sales to boosting employee satisfaction. This is the reason why, despite a challenging economy, Salesforce research found that a third (34%) of small businesses are focussing on their existing customer pool and prioritising the business-customer relationship over one-time transactions.
Your ability to offer an encompassing consumer experience hinges on having an understanding of your customer. An intelligent POS system that enables you to create customer profiles you can use to customise your customers’ buying journeys will be invaluable in 2022, as consumers increasingly seek out personalised experiences. After all, it’s easier to upsell or re-engage an existing customer than it is to find and convert a new one. An existing customer is already convinced of the quality of your services or products, and you already know and understand their purchasing behaviours.
Have you ever been turned off a brand because of its imagery? You’re not alone. MDG Advertising revealed that 67% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that uses quality imagery. However, selecting the right visuals comes down to more than just counting pixels.
Many businesses underestimate their audience, assuming free stock photography will do the job — yet consumers have become increasingly perceptive. Inauthentic, staged photography is easy to spot.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to poor image choices; photoshoots and image licenses can be expensive. However, investing in your own quality photography will elevate the quality of your brand in the eyes of the consumer — especially if you can authentically acknowledge the diversity of modern society. According to a recent Deloitte report, young consumers (aged 18 to 25) in particular take more notice of inclusive advertising when choosing what to spend their money on. As a result, it is becoming increasingly more important for businesses to show inclusivity through their imagery.
Consider 2022 as your opportunity to authentically connect with your customers and reflect the multiplicity of modern society in your advertising. If budget is a concern, paid stock imagery sites such as iStock and Adobe Stock offer diverse, quality images for an affordable price. Alternatively, reach out to your local photography school — students are always looking for ways to grow their portfolios.
While some merchants may have delayed the adoption of modern tech in pre-COVID times, the pandemic has made it apparent that going digital is no longer optional — it’s a requirement for business survival.
Having the ability to accept contactless payments, for example, has never been more critical than it is today. Cash, which was once considered to be a hassle-free payment option for small business owners, is rarely carried and even less frequently exchanges — making EFTPOS machines a critical business tool.
As demand for certain products boomed and reached new heights, having a reliable POS system saved many merchants countless hours and priceless resources in tracking inventory and fulfilling an overwhelming number of orders. Social media scheduling tools removed the cognitive burden of needing to maintain and engage an online community every day.
Threatened by lockdowns and various other restrictions on trading, many business owners were quick to adapt their processes in 2021 by leveraging technology to free up time, minimise wastage, and grow profits. In fact, it’s estimated that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of technology by several years. Yet the rapid pace of change means new apps and tools are constantly emerging.
Heading into 2022, consider your own business processes. Which are still manual? Now, seek out the tools to automate them.
Research has found that 84% of consumers have been convinced to buy a product after watching a video clip. That’s the power of video, and it’s going to be equally (if not more) powerful in 2022.
You might be thinking that video is a costly investment only big businesses have the luxury of investing in — and you’d be partially correct, because big businesses are certainly relying on video to help grow their market share. Yet video content doesn’t have to be of silver-screen quality.
Amateur video content, such as piece-to-camera social media stories and behind-the-scenes clips, appear more authentic in the eye of consumers. This is good news for merchants looking for highly effective, low-budget advertising content to grow their business in 2022.
Cash was once king, yet countless payment alternatives have since entered the market to vie for the crown. From credit cards to digital devices, there are far more convenient ways to transact — many of which don’t require customers to open their wallets. Not accepting these modern payment methods could be costing your business more than you realise.
The pandemic has delivered an unprecedented push towards digital payments; research conducted by Capgemini for its World Payment Report 2021 found nearly 45% of survey respondents frequently used mobile wallets to make purchases in 2021, compared to 23% in 2020. As more and more consumers leave their wallets at home — confident in their ability to buy anything from a coffee to a couch with a tap of their mobile phone or smartwatch — businesses that can’t accept digital payments such as Apple Pay are likely losing customers to competing business that can offer this convenience.
As you plan your growth strategies for 2022, take time to research which payment methods have become popular over the last 12 months. Are you able to affordably incorporate them into your accepted payment methods? A next-gen EFTPOS terminal, such as Zeller Terminal, will enable you to accept the more modern payment methods favoured by your youngest customers, as well as all of the standard EFTPOS and credit cards.
2022 will be a year of change, promise and growth — yet it won’t be without its challenges. The commercial landscape has been significantly altered by the pandemic, and businesses will need to adapt. Now is the time to consider how you’ll prioritise your customers and their sentiments moving forward. Businesses that successfully leverage these changes to provide a better customer experience will be best equipped for success in 2022.
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