The perennial problem for all small businesses is how to win customers and increase revenue in a competitive, ever-changing marketplace.
The team at American Express share four practical and effective ways to promote your business, attract customers and keep them coming back for more.
1. Add complementary products or services
Adding complementary products or services alongside your primary offering is a powerful way to increase your customer base, increase their average transaction size and position your business as one that knows how to add value.
A complementary product or service should ideally help your customer use your core offering. Some examples include:
● A hotel providing a babysitting service and valet parking
● A fitness studio selling active wear and bottled water
● A car dealership offering financing options
Finding the right complementary products or services requires a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and pain points — you can use your business analytics and data to get insight here. You also need to consider your own objectives: are you adding a service to stay competitive, generate more revenue or retain customers?
2. Start a loyalty program
Research by Roy Morgan showed that a whopping 71 percent of Australians belong to at least one store loyalty program, proving its effectiveness down under.
Besides giving them a reason to return, a loyalty rewards program provides insight into who your customers are (by obtaining information using sign-up forms) and what makes them happiest (by observing how they use the rewards you provide).
This allows you to tweak your messaging or promotional offers in a way that suits your customers’ preferences, delighting them even more.
Creating a loyalty program is only the first step — giving customers a loyalty card doesn’t guarantee they’ll come back. Maximise your chances of generating repeat business by constantly engaging your customers through the channels where they consume content. This can help you maintain top-of-mind presence.
3. Accept all credit cards
Australian consumers are increasingly choosing cards over cash, so it’s essential that small businesses recognise and adapt to this trend. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, non-cash payments now make up the bulk of payment value in Australia.
Research by American Express showed that 37% of its Australian Card Members go out of their way to visit establishments that accept their preferred payment method. American Express Card Members have been proven to spend, on average, 92% more on all credit card purchases in a typical month than other card holders.
Ensure you’re not missing out on this share of revenue — tools like Square Reader can make accepting all major credit and debit cards seamless for your business.
If you already accept card payments, ensure you prominently display the right signage or even mention it verbally so your customers know which cards they can pay with before they walk in.
4. Create partnership deals with other merchants
Creating partnerships with other businesses lets you tap into their customer base, and they work best when there is real value and benefit for both parties.
Consider forging an alliance with an enterprise that offers complementary services — think property managers and tradies, builders and landscapers, estate agents and photographers.
Promote your partner on your website and social media, and encourage them to return the favour. If both parties actively co-market to their respective customers, it’s a winning combination.
This post was proudly brought to you by our friends at American Express.