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4 strategies to attract and retain customers

Woman shopping for clothes

You hear about the rise of digital all the time. If you believe the news, smart phones and social media are taking over the world. All the hype aside, the fact remains that digital technology is the easiest way for you to reach new customers and retain the ones you already have.

How do you get started? Here are a few key strategies.

1. Maintain an up-to-date website.

Your business is one click away from a world of new customers – as long as you have a website. If you’re starting from scratch, focus on the basics:
  • Essential information – Include information like your hours of operation, contact and location information, what products or services you provide, as well as other general information about your business.
  • Clear site navigation – Help your visitors find what they need quickly and easily.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – If you haven’t already, start learning about and implement SEO best practices, which help potential customers discover your website and your business.
Another important note: In October 2016, mobile internet use surpassed desktop internet use for the first time ever.1 That means you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly for all those smart phone users out there.  

2. Use digital marketing to promote your business.

What do we mean by “digital marketing”? We primarily mean email and social media. But don’t forget that your website is at the center of it all.

Email is one of the easiest ways to communicate with your clients. It all starts with creating an email list. When someone makes a purchase, ask them to sign up for emails. Once you have a good list going, start sending out emails about special sales and offerings, event invitations or links to your social media accounts.

Social Media
You can promote products or services and encourage followers to interact with your business through polls and by sharing posts to keep them engaged. Be sure to create a social media calendar so you are aware of what you are posting and when you need to post to keep your content fresh. Check out Bank of America Merchant Services’ Promotional Ideas Calendar or other sources for your industry for inspiration.

3. Loyalty through your Clover device

While not technically a digital strategy, loyalty programs encourage customers to visit and return to your business, and they’re often easier to manage using digital tools. At their core, loyalty programs offer rewards people want and create an easy path to getting those rewards. For instance, you could give clients a discount after a set amount of purchases.

Loyalty with Clover
If you have a Clover device, you may have access to the Clover Rewards app in the Clover App Market.2 This app helps you run your own digital loyalty program by connecting you with your clients, allowing you to customize your loyalty rewards, and helping you create stronger relationships with your customers.

Marketing your program
After you have decided on a loyalty program, be sure to promote it on your website, through email and on your social media pages. The more your customers are aware of the program, the more likely they are to use it. You can also use the information gathered from your loyalty program to create tailored promotions and communications. You’ll have customers knocking at the door.

4. Accept and use digital payments.

Customers are looking for experiences that simplify their lives, and payments are no different. Digital payments are simple and convenient and don’t require customers to keep track of cash. Whether it’s an NFC enabled card, an app on a mobile device or an online transaction using an eCommerce platform, digital payments often benefit businesses too.

Customers spend more
You might not have guessed, but nearly 66% of small- and medium-sized businesses reported that customers spend more when using card versus cash.3 Who doesn’t want higher ticket amounts?

Faster check out
Oftentimes, check out with non-digital payments takes longer than with digital forms of payment. Small- and medium-sized businesses surveyed estimated that it takes 542 hours to process $100,000 in non-digital payments compared to 189 hours to process $100,000 in digital payments.4

Fewer errors
By accepting and using digital payments, your employees will handle less cash, decreasing your exposure to human error.

Using these digital strategies could put you one step closer to attracting new and loyal customers. If you’re interested in learning more about these digital strategies, read Visa’s guide “Digital Transformation of SMBs: The Future of Commerce,” which Bank of America Merchant Services was proud to promote.

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