Finding new customers is a major obstacle to success for small and mid-sized merchants. The data show that they not using a broad array of state-of-the art digital marketing tools, but continue to rely on traditional methods such as newspapers, and direct mail, giving a pass to the Internet or location-based marketing.
Nearly 90% of small and mid-sized merchants have some type of online presence, yet only 20% use it to sell their products and services. Despite this, only 25% of small and mid-sized merchants see the lack of an online selling presence as a hurdle for their businesses. A better understanding of the value of eCommerce and the ease of integrating payments into it are major opportunities for the entire small and mid-sized merchant ecosystem.
Half of small and mid-sized merchants have not integrated front and back-office technology and 40% are not satisfied with the integration they do have. Reasons range from the limited knowledge to achieve integration to a lack of finances to support systems integration. While having adopted many different applications (e.g. CRM, Inventory Control, Accounting, etc.), these applications are not communicating with each other, meaning existing technology is not fulfilling its potential to improve business.
Half of small and mid-sized merchants suggest that their POS system is not an issue for them, and don’t see accepting electronic payments as a challenge. However, they are not using the POS system as a source of consumer data. Small and mid-sized merchants should explore how they can access sales data they get from an electronic POS system. They can then discover the value of eCommerce, unlock the power of systems integration, and develop data-based targeted marketing for consumers.