“Retail is dying.” We hear it again and again these days. And it’s undeniable that many of the giants are struggling—Macy’s, Kohl’s, even Target have had difficult times lately.

But that’s not the whole picture in the retail sector. Small, boutique shops are popping up across the nation, and they’re thriving. Customers love the personalized nature of these shops, and they’re able to cater to a more specific, targeted audience. It’s part of a broader “shop small” movement that’s gaining steam around the country.

These small companies are having a big impact on the retail landscape, and their unique setup is a major part of that. And payment technology can play an integral part in the setup as well as the experience customers have with boutique retailers. Here’s three ways modern payments create a better boutique:

1. Get rid of the counter. Embrace a unique setup.
One of the ways a boutique differentiates itself is the setup—the different look and feel as soon as you walk into the store. Traditional and legacy retail has looked the same way for decades, but when customers enter a boutique they immediately realize they’re in for something different. They’re going to get a one-of-a-kind shopping experience that they’ve never encountered at large, traditional retailers.

By using modern payments solutions, boutiques can cultivate that look. Handheld payments, for instance, allows a shop to get rid of the counter completely and walk the store, offering customers advice and checking them out when they’re ready. It also allows more space to display wares—which is crucial in any store that has limited floor space.

2. Be more nimble. Go where your customers are—and new customers might be.
Boutiques need to work hard to continue expanding their customer base, and sometimes that involves meeting customers beyond just their aisles. As summer approaches, for instance, there’s huge opportunities for remote sales. Pop up shops are growing in popularity, and you can attract new customers by selling remotely and introducing your products to unfamiliar customers.

Even sidewalk sales can expose new customers to your collection of products. Potential customers who may have walked by a hundred times and never noticed your store before will now see it in a new light.

Of course, payment is crucial in this process. If you can’t integrate your remote sales, it’s going to create a difficult process in ordering and reconciling inventory. When you can use the same payments both in store and remote, it won’t slow down your business.

3. Be available everywhere—even online.
Boutiques often limit their thinking to the physical, brick-and-mortar presence, assuming they can’t take on giants like Amazon—but that’s a mistake. Good boutiques create customer loyalty. Just because a customer is shopping online doesn’t mean they’ll, by default, head to Amazon. They may prefer to choose from the collection of their favorite boutique, but they can’t if that store is not selling online.

These days, it’s entirely possible for any boutique to set up an e-commerce presence. In fact, many boutiques that began as a brick-and-mortar now view physical stores as a “marketing opportunity” for their online store.

 

There’s so much more a shop can do with today’s payment tools—modern technology is about enabling possibilities for any store. Merchants can expand beyond their normal footprint to choose the features and programs they want. They can create a customized, unique experience vastly different from the typical transaction.

Transcending the conventional experiences is what boutiques are all about. And modern payments are crucial to getting there.

 

​​3 Ways Payments Enhance Your Boutique