Retail start-up? You’re missing out on sales if you don’t offer payment technology

A lack of payment technology, both online and in-store, is costing small business retailers £8.7bn a year. Are you missing a trick?

The UK’s retail start-ups and small businesses are missing out on an estimated £8.7bn a year in lost sales by failing to offer customers access to payment technology online and in-store.

New research from Barclaycard suggests that retailers that don’t accept mobile payments and contactless payments, and fail to offer ‘one click’ ordering online, are the most hardest hite.

Surveying 250 decision-makers from small retail businesses,  25% of those that don’t yet accept online transactions admitted that they wouldn’t “know how to get started” while 16% revealed they had lost customers in the last year because of a failure to offer payment technology online.

Alarmingly, the retailers surveyed all estimated that they were losing customers by not giving shoppers the ability to pay the way they want to.

You may also like: The Little Startups Guide to taking payments

Despite holding this view, small retailers are still yet to seize the opportunity to win new customers. The majority of retail start-ups polled said they hadn’t updated their payment strategy in over 16 months while only 19%  said they had consulted with a payment provider to discuss their options.

As well as keeping up-to-date with payments innovation, Barclaycard has highlighted that smaller retailers also have an opportunity to attract repeat customers by focusing on loyalty.

Although 42% of small retailers believe their size and set-up helps them foster loyalty in a way that larger brands often cannot do, only 16% think loyalty schemes are important. However, 42% of consumers are more likely to choose a retailer if it offers loyalty discounts and a similar proportion would be drawn to a retailer if a loyalty scheme was in place.

Sharon Manikon, managing director of customer solutions at Barclaycard, has argued that “small businesses who don’t keep up with the rate of change of payment technology are potentially missing out on both sales and customers”:

“Keeping up with shoppers’ expectations needn’t be as costly or complicated as small and medium enterprises think; with the right partner, they can easily find a solution that works for both them and their customers.

“As consumer demands vary from business to business, it is also important that small and medium enterprises seek feedback from their own customers to understand what support and services they see as most valuable, and develop their offering in response.”

Yet to accept card payments? View our buyer’s guides to small business credit card machines and credit card processing.

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