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10 Ways SMBs Can Drive Purchase Decisions

purchase decisionsEffectively influencing purchase decisions can make the difference between a merchant that thrives and one that fails. However, many of your small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients may not know how to guide consumers toward spending – and spending more. As trusted business advisors, ISVs and VARs can show SMBs how to win business and maximize revenues using tech solutions, data analytics, and practical policies and procedures.

How SMBs Can Drive Purchase Intent Pre-Purchase

Purchase intent is the probability that a consumer will buy a product from a specific company. Large enterprises may use sophisticated predictive modeling solutions to project future sales based on historical data, but SMBs also have the power to influence purchase decisions by implementing a target marketing strategy that leverages data from their point of sale (POS) system.

This strategy involves three parts:

  1. Segmentation: Show your SMB clients how they can use customer relationship management (CRM) features to segment their lists based on past purchases. For example, customers who typically purchase sporting goods would be on a different list than people who often purchase home improvement materials.

  2. Targeting: With lists segmented into groups most interested in particular promotions or new product releases, SMBs can target the right consumers with the right messages at the right time.

  3. Positioning: By understanding who is in each segment and the products they are interested in, SMBs can position those products at the right time, increasing the probability of gaining sales from a customer segment.

The three stages of target marketing are key for helping SMBs drive pre-purchase intent. Some tactics you can share with your clients to help them influence the purchasing decisions pre-purchase include:

  • Ad Personalization
    SMBs can leverage historical consumer sales to personalize advertisements and promotions to those most likely to respond. With the customer’s permission or following social media platform guidelines, merchants can put ads in front of likely buyers. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools, particularly generative AI, can make generating effective messaging easier than ever before. Merchants simply ask the tool to create messaging based on available data, and it generates it within seconds.

  • Flyers and Mailers
    In today’s world, consumers are over-stimulated by digital notifications. Low-tech solutions like flyers and mailers can cut through the noise to drive purchase decisions, especially in a small market. Flyers and mailers can be especially effective for promoting holiday sales and community events.

  • Cooperative Promotions
    Use your connections in your clients’ market to help SMBs brainstorm local partnerships that can drive foot traffic. For example, a coffee shop could partner with a local pottery shop to feature handmade mugs in-store and vice versa. Additionally, promotions leveraging gift cards can reward loyal customers while driving new business. 

Driving Purchase Decisions At the Point of Sale

Once the customer is in the store, there are several strategies SMBs can leverage to influence purchasing decisions, for example:

  • Impulse Buys: Positioning items near the point of sale terminal is one of the easiest and most effective ways to influence impulse purchases. ISVs and VARs can also help advise clients on sleek, modern hardware with good cable management that maximizes the real estate space for impulse product displays.

  • Payment Choice: By providing consumers with flexible payment options, SMBs can make purchases more manageable and budget-friendly. For example, buy now, pay later (BNPL) allows consumers to divide their payments over a series of equal, interest-free installments, which can make large purchases more affordable. Your experience in your market can help your SMB clients choose alternative payment options that will make the biggest impact.

  • Upsell Purchases: Sales associates can increase revenue by 43 percent for retailers simply by upselling purchases. Increase consumer sales by educating associates on “perfectly paired” items to pitch. As upsells by associates can be inconsistent, help your clients consider the advantages of adding a self-service or unattended payments solution to suggest upsells 100 percent of the time.

How to Influence Post-Purchase Decisions

Maximizing revenues doesn’t have to end with a single sale. Show your clients how to drive more revenue by leveraging incentives that get customers to return. Some strategies include:

  • Use receipts to make offers, ask for feedback, or give a reward for a discount.

  • Sell branded physical and electronic gift cards and use them in promotions to encourage return visits while keeping your name and logo top of mind.

  • Use data to understand customer behavior and personalize communications. For example, send a new customer a welcome email or entice one who hasn’t returned in a while to come back.

The Return on Your Investment

While economic uncertainty can be stressful for SMB merchants, the relationships retailers build with customers are the key to sustaining them. When you help your clients maximize revenues by influencing purchase decisions or other means, not only does your merchant win, but you’re also preserving your client base. Don’t underestimate the role of the trusted advisor. VARs and ISVs who take the time to impart their expertise will build stickier relationships with thriving customers and a growing business.

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