January 1st already feels long ago. You can see the signs that people are beginning to abandon their resolutions—the gyms are starting to get a little less crowded, the candy bars in the vending machine are selling a little faster, a few more smokers are starting to return outside the building.
Here at Cayan, we can’t help you with the gym part, but we support any retailer that made a resolution. Whatever you decided to do, we want to encourage you to stick with your goals. Make this your best year yet as you try to expand your business and boost your customer base.
Resolution: Finally accept chip cards
Why you’re already giving up: It’s too slow
Why you need to keep trying: For the many retailers who still don’t accept chip cards, there’s one ultimate question: why bother if it’s just going to slow down checkout? Go into a number of major retailers around the country, and you’ll find chip card transactions still take almost 15 seconds. And that doesn’t even count the awkward moments when customers swipe incorrectly before they get it right and insert it, only to stand there and sigh as the transaction takes forever.
Don’t despair: chip cards don’t have to be slow. The technology behind chip cards exists for a reason, because it protects businesses from fraud. You should be encouraging customers to use chip cards, and not just because it’s safer for your business—with the right processor, dipping a chip is just as fast as a swipe.
Resolution: Start selling online
Why you’re already giving up: Can’t figure it out—it’s too complex
Why you need to keep trying: Sell online? For many small retailers, it’s simply an unthinkable thought. E-commerce is for the Amazons and Walmarts of the world, not small or mid-sized retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence. Right?
Wrong. These days, your customers want you to be available everywhere, and they may shop elsewhere if you’re not. The e-commerce tools that the giants use are now available to even small retailers. Set up can be simple, integration seamless, and payments are fast. These days, everyone should be online.
Resolution: Make your store more boutique
Why you’re already giving up: Too much work
Why you need to keep trying: More and more retailers these days are trying to make their brick-and-mortar into a “boutique.” You’ve probably been into plenty of these stores—a small, intimate retail experience where the associates are also consultative sellers, ready to walk with you and make recommendations while also having the ability to check you out. These associates often know more about customers and can make more personalized recommendations.
Plenty of retailers love the idea of it, but are exhausted by the thought of all the different solutions it requires to work. But there’s simple ways to do it, and many solutions can offer several of the featuers you want at once. The boutique is a popular and growing look, and the tools are available to retailers of any size these days.
Resolution: Add gift and loyalty
Why you’re already giving up: Customers are returning anyway
Why you need to keep trying: So you’ve heard about gift and loyalty, but you think, well, I’ve already got return customers. And that’s great, but take a growth mindset for a moment: This year can be the one where you grow your base of regulars beyond your existing loyal customers.
All it takes for people to make your store “their” store is a small nudge. It doesn’t matter which particular demographic you’re seeking out—there’s ways to reach them. The office workers around the corner might start coming back more often if they know they’re on pace for a free item. The students down the street might make your business their hangout if use targeting to offer them student discounts. The neighborhood residents who haven’t come into your store in months might return if you gave a targeted offer to people who’ve been gone for 60 days. The return customers that you have now are great, it’s true—but there’s plenty of ways you can create even more of them.
There’s plenty of other wonderful resolutions out there for businesses and retailers. No matter what you landed on, we just want to encourage you: keep going after your goal! The tools are out there to help you accomplish everything you aim for.