Convenience: The key to small business marketing
What is it that makes a brand popular? In the twentieth century, the answer to this question would have been the products they offered – look at Coca-Cola and Ford, for example. Coca-Cola’s fizzy drink and Ford’s cars are still popular. What makes a business successful today is different. Consumers are looking for convenience rather than the inherent qualities of a product. This is an important consumer behavioural change that businesses must take into consideration when planning their small business marketing. We’re going to discuss why convenience is so important and how you can offer this to your customers.
Marketing has changed more in the last few years than in the last 50
Coca-Cola and Ford are brands that still reign supreme today. However, they had the advantage of becoming strong brands in a time when product was king. Today things are different. Adobe conducted a survey of 1,000 marketers in the USA and found that 76% of them think that marketing has changed more in the two years preceding 2013 than in the previous 50. The digital age has taken some power away from tangible products. Consumers are overwhelmed with product choice – what makes them pick one over another is how convenient that product is to use.
Uber is successful not because of its product, but for its convenience
Uber is a fantastic example of a business offering convenience to enhance their brand and customer service. What Uber offers compared to what traditional taxi companies offer is almost identical: A car takes a passenger from A to B and charges them for the service. How Uber is taking over cities all over the world, however, is by offering convenience. Why would you opt for a traditional taxi company when you can order a taxi within minutes through your smartphone and have the assurance of knowing who the driver is and what car they’re driving beforehand? With Uber you don’t even need your wallet on you – the fare is debited straight from the bank account linked to your Uber account.
Online shopping, mobile apps and mobile banking are popular because they also offer convenience
And there’s plenty more evidence to suggest that convenience is a huge influencing factor for consumers: the success of Amazon’s one-click shopping, the rise of e-commerce, the popularity of free,and next-day delivery offered by online retailers, Makro’s partnership with Sasol that allows customers to pick up goods they ordered online at selected Sasol petrol stations, the popularity of mobile apps, and the surge in mobile banking in Africa.
Prepaid vending machines are a simple way to give your customers what they want and spur your small business marketing on
You don’t have to be a prolific, internet-based business or a large online retailer to offer your customers convenience. If you’re a small business operating a store, you can install a prepaid vending machine. With this device you sell unlimited prepaid airtime and electricity to your customers – convenient for both them and you, as you won’t need to buy prepaid vouchers (that could go unsold). Not only that, your customers can pay their DSTV bills, buy Lotto tickets and top up their Hollywood Bets mobile wallets right in your store.
Improve customer service further with an in-store ATM and credit card machine
As well as prepaid vending machines, you can install an in-store ATM to offer your customers even more convenience and boost your small business marketing further. Again, it’s not only them who’ll benefit – you’ll enjoy more foot traffic, earn a rebate on each transaction and boost revenue. Read our blog about in-store ATMs for more information. A credit card machine is yet another way to offer your customers more convenience. If they know they have the option to pay by both cash and card, they’ll likely choose your business over the one down the road.
If you’re committed to offering your customers more than your competitors and want to improve your small business marketing efforts, download our e-book about gearing your small business up for long-term success.