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Small Business Insight

Convenience and Today’s Consumer

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Consumers today want bigger, better, faster, and more. We live in the day of drive-thru dry cleaners, fast food, convenience packaging, and super-size soft drinks. These innovations are driven by consumer demand and it only seems to be growing. That means your small business needs to be looking for new ways to offer greater convenience to your customers or you run the risk of losing them to those who will.

Why is Convenience So Important for Businesses Today?
The bottom line is that consumers are demanding it and if your business isn’t convenient enough to meet their needs they will find a business that is – probably your competitors. Convenience comes in many forms and the more ways you make your business more convenient to your consumers, the more consumers will flock to your business AND sing its praises to their friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances.

UX Magazine cites a 2002 study that suggests that convenient goods and services, from a customer’s point of view, is a major deciding factor when it comes to buying decisions while a different study, conducted in 2007 determined that convenience was the most important deciding factor for those who shop online.

Think about it, despite the fact that many people purchase cameras, that take far better photographs than mobile phones, the clear majority of photos uploaded to the Internet today are taken by mobile phones and devices.

Why is that? Convenience.

It is far more convenient to reach in your purse or your pocket and pull out your phone than it is to hunt down and lug around an extra device, in this case a camera, just so it is there when the need for a photograph of the perfect occasion presents itself.

People shop the same way and with very similar priorities. They are far more likely to shop where it is convenient to do so than to go out of their way to shop with you, no matter how much they like your store, your products, or you as a person.

How Can You Make Your Business More Convenient for Consumers?
The challenge for you is to determine what will make your business more convenient to consumers and how you can incorporate that into your standard business practices. These are a few improvements you can make for the convenience of your customers that will make your business shine.

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The ability to accept major credit cards is a huge boon for businesses today. The more credit cards you accept, the more convenient it is for customers who may have higher limits on credit cards, such as American Express and Discover that are less widely accepted than Visa and MasterCard which currently permeate the market.

More importantly, it gives consumers an option other than cash or check and offers you some degree of protection against the potential for fraudulent checks while making customers happy – especially in a day and age when small businesses are often reluctant to accept credit cards due to concerns over the costs of doing so or the hassle.

Fortunately for you, Clover Mobile gives you the ability to get paid in your shop or on-the-go as your need may be by operating over a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. This allows your mobile point of sale tool to be useful in a variety of circumstances creating even more convenience for your customers.

Location, Location, Location

The importance for the location of your business for the sake of convenience cannot be stressed enough. A centrally located and easily accessible business will receive far more traffic than one that is out of the way or difficult to get into and out of. Don’t forget to include virtual locations in your business planning too. Inc.com suggests that an effective ecommerce solution for your business is essential to success today – more than at any other point in the history of business.

Add to the convenience for your customers by offering opportunities to order online and have items shipped directly to them as well as the ability to order online and pick their purchases up from your store in a matter of minutes or offer delivery services to your customers for the products they’ve purchased. This adds another layer of convenience that is appreciated and applauded by consumers making your business indispensable to savvy shoppers today.

Utilizing tools like Clover Flex and other products from the Clover Station family makes it possible for you to accept payments in store and by delivery drivers in a variety of formats, including credit card payments thanks to Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.

Other Convenience Factors

For many consumers, convenience involves any one or all of these factors. Keep them in mind and build your business to incorporate as many of them as possible into your business space.

  • Faster Checkout Process
  • Store Loyalty Programs
  • Taking Your Business to Your Customers (Mobility)
  • Easy Flow of Store Design and Layout
  • Convenience Items Located Near Checkouts

Keep your store as consumer friendly as possible for the best possible results and include any or all of these factors in your place of business. You are sure to love the results offering a more convenient shopping experience to your customers brings to your business.

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