written by Joe Radest & Paige Davis
We all know that this year has been completely different than any of us have ever experienced. Now that 2020 is over and we are in the new year with the hope of a return to normalcy, there are lots of things to think about.
With so many people working from home most of the year, many retail purchases were made online and shipped or picked up at curbside. The customers that did go to stores when stores were open (often with limited hours and restrictions due to COVID), typically used cashless and/or contactless payments in order to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Many industries and retailers struggled due to the pandemic, leading to movements to support small businesses and distribute stimulus checks etc.
The jewelry industry was unique in that throughout the pandemic, most jewelers actually did better than normal. Some have attributed this to the fact that many people were forced to stay home and cancel events and vacations, which led to having a bit of extra money left over to spend on gifts for loved ones such as jewelry.
This is the time to capitalize on that good fortune. With the right payment processing solutions, you can retain the customers that you currently have and draw new customers in.
As we return to normal life after such a crazy year, things will be different. Many people have become accustomed to buying things online or using other forms of electronic payments.
As a jeweler, being able to handle transactions from any physical location or online, will be key. Bridal fairs, home shows, and other events will come back into the fold as things return to normal. All of these scenarios will play into how 2021 and beyond will look.
With so many changes in how people make purchases and how the world will look, each and every retailer needs to be ready. The best way to prepare for these changes is to ensure that you have the best payments technology available.
Wireless payment devices offer significant benefits for jewelry stores. One of the key benefits which gained significant traction as a result of the pandemic is mobile wallets. The draw for consumers pre-pandemic was quick serve restaurants when it came to paying via Apple, Samsung or Google Pay wallets installed on their phones.
The use of mobile wallets and making a contactless payment had gained acceptance in the quick serve, i.e., Starbucks arena but with the pandemic, it has gained momentum into other retail segments as consumer adoption increased.
What jewelers need to consider about contactless payments, is the security aspect that surrounds it. In order for a consumer to make a payment from a card stored in their mobile wallet, they need to unlock their phone via facial recognition of pin number unlock.
The card issuer is aware that the payment was made via contactless (mobile wallet) and between the verification steps the consumer did in setting up their mobile wallet and then unlocking their device to do the transaction, it shifts risk of transaction from retailer to consumer. The verification steps reduce fraud significantly!
Using a wireless payment terminal has many more benefits. One of the main advantages is that the terminal can be moved anywhere inside or outside of your store as long as you have Wi-Fi, whether that be connected to your store Wi-Fi or a hotspot from your phone. Most smartphones have hotspot capabilities which connect to the wireless terminals.
Another huge advantage to wireless payment terminals is that they give your customers much more privacy while making payments.
For example, if a customer is buying a higher ticket item such as a $4,000.00 necklace, you can take them to another part of your showroom or to a private showroom in order to make the transaction with your wireless terminal. This gives your customer increased privacy and safety while making a purchase.
When you contrast a wireless payment terminal to a traditional cash register, customers have to line up at one spot in your store to make their payments which allows for little to no privacy or flexibility.
A virtual terminal will also be extremely useful in order to keep track of sales, payments and especially recurring payments. Pay by text, pay by email, and sell by text can also be done through a virtual terminal as well.
Customers prefer to have options for their payments that are convenient, efficient and secure. The best way to cater to your customers is to have a variety of payment options for them.
Now that the busy holiday season has just recently ended, it is the perfect time to add on these types of payment options. By having everything connected to a central virtual terminal, you will be able to more easily track your sales and your customers payments, while your customers will enjoy having more payment options.
Talk to your payments provider about what options they have as you begin a new year. If you have any questions or want to learn more about the many payment technologies that are available feel free to contact us today!
Joe Radest started his career in card payments over 2 decades ago, working for the industry giant First Data. Since FDC, Joe has worked with other notable processors – TSYS, Global Payments and Chase Paymentech.
Over 9 years ago, Joe branched out on his own, by launching 1 Step Technologies. Since that initial FinTech launch, Joe co-founded two other FinTech firms – Payix Holdings and FP Omni Technologies. In addition, he is the managing partner in Radest Ventures, a private equity/venture capital firm with investments in emerging FinTech firms. He serves on two boards and resides in Atlanta with his wife and adult kids.