(BPT) - When it comes to running a business, it's safe to say that COVID-19 changed just about everything. Where people shop, how they make purchases and even what they use to pay - the pandemic overhauled consumer preferences nationwide. And while this certainly presents a challenge, some small businesses have thrived despite it. What's their secret to success?
The answer is simple: These savvy small businesses owners have embraced the use of electronic payments. But just how do these payment methods make such a difference? Let's find out.
Electronic payments facilitate e-commerce.
Electronic payments have empowered small businesses across the country, allowing them to better meet the needs of their communities - particularly amid COVID-19. When the pandemic first struck, many local companies were forced to cease in-person operations and close their physical locations. But by accepting digital payment options, local businesses had a solution: online orders.
Online deliveries and e-commerce skyrocketed amid COVID, increasing consumers' digital adoption rate in eight weeks what otherwise would've taken a decade. By adopting electronic payments, though, local shops could pivot with this purchasing trend and stay ahead of the curve. Proactive small businesses were able to move their operations online, allowing them to compete with retail giants like Amazon and Walmart. And now, with the shift toward e-commerce likely here to stay, electronic payments have positioned these small businesses for continued success.
Electronic payments make transactions safer.
Not all transactions take place online, however. And for those that do occur in-person, customers increasingly want to feel like their health is being protected. Luckily, small business owners who embrace electronic payments have a variety of tools at their disposal to make that happen.
Contactless payments - whether through a credit card, debit card or mobile wallet - are quickly becoming a staple of in-person checkouts. It's no wonder why: They allow users to pay without the hassle or risks associated with touching germy surfaces. In this way, small businesses accepting contactless payments have a major advantage over those relying on often-unsanitary cash transactions.
That's not the only advantage of contactless payments, either. In fact, an infographic from the Electronic Payments Coalition (electronicpaymentscoalition.org) breaks down the precise benefits electronic payments provide consumers and merchants alike, illustrating they have a keen advantage over cash.
Electronic payments allow for social distancing.
Electronic payments also enable business owners to implement curbside pickup and contact-free delivery - safe and convenient purchasing options that fit individuals' needs. These transactions allow consumers to pay without ever stepping foot inside a store. As such, they reduce unnecessary physical interactions and limit the spread of illnesses like COVID-19.
In the post-COVID world, businesses that offer socially distanced pickup options have a leg-up over their competition. Not only do these methods help protect shoppers and their employees, but they also improve their customers' overall experience. Simply put, contactless pickup is what people want­ - and electronic payments allow small businesses to capitalize on that trend.
Now more than ever, electronic payments are vital to running a thriving company. They provide the flexibility and capabilities necessary to navigate the business landscape amid COVID-19.