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Digital technology



To own your moment, tap into the ‘Now Factor’

We live in a world of instant gratification, fueled by the technological devices that have become ubiquitous in our lives. How do merchants rise above the constant stream of information to meet customers’ expectations? How do they own their moment, making the most of the customer experience at just the right time? The answer lies in the “Now Factor” – digital technologies and solutions that help merchants meet modern day customers’ expectations. It involves meeting your customers where they are and helping them to help themselves. Let’s take a look.

Meeting your customers where they are

With the number of online shoppers in the U.S. projected to surpass 200 million in 2015,(1) and online spending averaging $78 dollars per order, (2) an ecommerce site is a necessity for most merchants. In order to tap into the Now Factor, merchants need to go the extra mile when connecting with their customers online.

One way is by implementing an online chat feature. Many consumers prefer this type of real-time communication over calling a customer service center. Instant messaging applications, including voice chat, can be built right into a website for a seamless and personal customer experience.

Another way is to provide downloadable resources about product offerings. Links to pictures, testimonials, and interactive features that demonstrate how customers will benefit from their purchase are especially useful. 

Social media can be an effective way to communicate relevant information to customers quickly and easily. You can use sites like Facebook® to extend your brand and give your business a personality by sharing links, images, and posts. Social media also gives your customers a chance to share products and services with others, and is increasingly being relied upon by consumers who consult friends, family and strangers on purchase decisions. (3)

Lastly, POS systems, including mobile and tablet solutions, extend the point of purchase for better customer service and faster checkout. By meeting your customers on the floor to answer their questions about product, cost, availability and more, you can help speed-up the sale.

Helping your customers help themselves

Easy access to the internet, whether on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, allows consumers to find anything they want online, at any time. They can research products, compare costs, read customer reviews, and make purchases all from the convenience of their own home (or in-store, as the case may be).

Shoppers expect the same level of customer service both online and in-store, and they want immediate access to the information they need to make a decision. Make sure your sales associates are familiar with the company’s website and online positioning. Train your associates to cross-sell your online presence by inviting them to “like” your Facebook page, sign up for email notifications, provide customer feedback, or participate in other online experiences you offer.

The future of ‘Now’

As the lines begin to blur between online and brick-and-mortar sales experiences, the walls are also coming down between how consumers get product information and make purchases. Some providers, like MasterCard®, are experimenting with “content to commerce” experiences that allow consumers to skip the step of searching altogether and buy a product they read about online. MasterCard’s Shop This™ app allows digital readers to instantly purchase items described in an article or advertisement by tapping a shopping icon on the page.

For more information about how you can harness the power of the Now Factor to meet customer expectations, contact us.

1Statista™, http://www.statista.com/statistics/183755/number-of-us-internet-shoppers-since-2009/, 2015

2Statista™, http://www.statista.com/statistics/183755/number-of-us-internet-shoppers-since-2009/, 2015 

3McKinsey & Company®, “The Social Economy: unlocking value and productivity through social technologies”, McKinsey Global Institute, July 2012

 

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