Fri Jul 14 2017
Looking to win more customers? Here are four ways your payments can go into bat for you – and help knock the competition for six.
Some businesses have all the customers they need (it’s true, really). For everyone else, the landscape can sometimes feel a little too barren.
Today’s customers have more choice than ever before, and when they can treat your shop as a competitor’s showroom, when price transparency is a given and when the world is literally at their fingertips, you might need to up your game.
So, how do you cut through the noise to get your nose in front? Here are four areas where your payment choices can help you to sharpen your edge.
How are new customers going to know how great you are unless you tell them? The problem, of course, is that there are loads of ways to do it and finding the most effective ones for you isn’t always straightforward.
The right strategy will depend on your individual business. However, if you’re smart you’ll be thinking about where your target customers are most likely to be active and concentrating your efforts there. And that means there’s a very good chance you’ll be looking closely at digital.
If you choose search engine marketing (SEM) you’re in good company. Spending on paid-for search grew 15% to a fraction under £5bn in 2016, according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK / PwC Digital Adspend report1. That’s just under half of all digital ad spend.
Of course, you’ll want to get the best deal. That’s where the way you pay comes in. If you use your Business Barclaycard to pay at Bing Ads you’ll get a 5% rebate on your online advertising spend. (terms and conditions apply.2)
Getting more customers through the door can often mean a short-term spike in spending.
You might be developing new products, expanding your range, branching out into new services or even spending money to woo a key target. Whatever the plan, it could be a while before the payback starts.
If it ends up being a profitable investment in your business, it’s worth taking an initial financial hit. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sensible.
If you’re spending on a credit card, then making the most of any interest-free periods could give you some breathing space if and when the costs start to add up.
And if you already have a business credit card that gives you cashback on purchases, then using it is an easy win that gives you more bang for your buck. Just the ticket for the many business owners who have a laser-like focus on every penny spent.
When it comes to winning new customers, innovation gives you a great chance to get ahead of the pack and spending money on R&D can often be a good bet. But as you certainly won’t be alone in doing this, it’s worth considering if there’s a way to give yourself an edge.
That could mean finding a mentor, seeking out successful peers to learn from, or even spending time in an innovative environment such as Barclays Eagle Labs. They give you access to knowledge and equipment you may not be able to easily get elsewhere.
Eagle Labs are available for everyone, but Premium Business Barclaycard holders can get five days free access.
This may come as a surprise, but the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that only half of businesses in the country have a website3.
Although almost all larger businesses have one, that drops to four-fifths of businesses with 10-49 employees and less than half of those with fewer than 10 employees.
If you don’t have a website, getting one could give you a big advantage – and Barclaycard customers can benefit from up to 15% off an ecommerce website with cloudBuy.
Still need convincing? The UK spends more online per household than any other country in the world4, with online card spending in 2016 worth a huge £154bn.
If you already have a website then it’s important not to rest on your laurels. It’s a fast-moving area so perhaps it’s time for a site refresh, or maybe you have a mobile experience that needs finessing? After all, research from Google shows that 53% of people will abandon a mobile site if it takes longer than three seconds to load5.
The smoother your customers can interact with you digitally, the better option you become. Just make sure you choose the smartest ways to fund any upgrades and, if you can, pick ways that add additional benefits to your business.