Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has changed in the business domain. Companies have been disrupted and many people are working from home. This gave rise to a spur in e-commerce purchases and increased spending in the technology and furniture segments. Although there are organizations that profit from the current situation, there are many that still face troubles. For example, brick-and-mortar stores face challenges in the way they conduct business. Stores are closed and most moved online, requiring them to ramp up their e-commerce and digital investments. In this article, we will dive into the opportunities concerning payments and the digital space.
Types of payments
Moving to the digital landscape does not necessarily require vast investments in technology. We see smaller stores leveraging existing communication technology such as WhatsApp and Facebook. They post the products they are offering and conduct the payment via bank transfer or in a physical setting. Another option is the payment link, which is an innovative link that can be used.
Payment link on existing communication applications
The payment link can be sent through any platform or application, making it easy to use. When selected, customers can choose their preferred payment method and conduct the payment. This helps shop owners minimize the costs when conducting payments, as they do not need to invest in a webshop or other technology.
Target customers through online marketing
Although this arena is unknown to many ‘traditional’ shop owners, it can help them reach their target audience easily and effectively. Using tools such as Facebook or Instagram, it becomes possible to target a specific geographic area and tweak with the demographics in that area. This allows for very targeted advertisements to stay in touch with your local customer base. There is even a possibility to sell products directly through social media platforms. Of course, you do need to take into account that this comes with additional costs.
Physical store or home delivery
In terms of payments, we should not immediately write-off the card machine. With newer versions being available, the card machine can still be used when conducting home delivery. With the newest touchless card machine, you can conduct a safe transaction while limiting the interaction. This makes it safe for both the person delivering and the customer. The same card machine can be used in the stores, where it helps to streamline the payments. This creates a safer environment for shoppers and the people working behind the counter.
These are challenging times for small- and medium-sized enterprises. By leveraging the right online tools and methodologies, they can create a competitive advantage. We will see this unfold in the coming years when more and more people move online. Even the elderly are now shopping through online platforms to stay safe. They will adopt and retain this habit, making online commerce more important than ever.
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