Consumers have increased sales with independent butchers
Butchers and farm shops have reported a surge in trade since the lockdown. COVID-19 has changed the way consumers shop, many forsaking the supermarket in favour of the independent butcher. Speaking to clients in Shropshire, there seems to have been a small tail off in September with queues slightly smaller on a Saturday morning.
It’s quite clear, consumers have discovered the benefit of shopping, retaining them is key to the continued increase in sales.
Kantar Worldpanel GB data reported beef sales were up 19.3% on the same period last year and larger households’ up 47.2%.
The impact for butchers with the new 6 person restriction in households is likely to surge turkey sales further.
Queuing at the butchers to collect a turkey and the Christmas dinner treats in the cold December is part of the festive tradition, but this year things are going to be different. In the last 6 months footfall is already up, one Worcestershire butcher reported he had five times more customers daily, during lockdown.
We live in a world of online reviews and consumers can be harsh, being efficient and providing a speedy service is something a payment facility can help with, but where do you start?
Increased trade combined with the demise of cash means more transactions being processed
The way consumers pay for goods and services has changed, you do not need a payments expert to tell you this. Cash seems an all distant memory, the first step is to assess your current card processing provider, it’s likely these processing charges are outdated and costing more than they need to.
Increased trade for butchers combined with the demise of cash means more transactions being processed are elevating your processing costs. I’m not referring to the debit and credit card percent rate, you’ll be surprised what is hidden in the monthly statement to authorise each of these transactions. The offering from card processing providers is exceptionally broad and it’s worth considering an advisor that has access to more than one provider.
Butchers using new tech will turn consumers through your door faster meaning more sales?
There are numerous cost saving EPOS platforms on the market and designed to help organise and save time. Look for something that’s flexible and learn from the pandemic effect on your trade and how you may need to add on new facilities. Most EPOS providers continue with development, enhancing the core platform they provide.
EPOS integration with your payment provider is crucial, more so if you’re processing many transactions. An expert with an all round knowledge of who and what will integrate, will save you money and help implement a smooth operation.
Finding the right system that is flexible can be key to customer satisfaction
EPOS tills will do the admin work and your accountant will be able to access the information, they love this stuff and it will save you costs in the long run. Where an EPOS system can eliminate costly mistakes at the point of sale, the savings of your own admin and the accountants time, is a winner.
Many EPOS providers have extra add-ons that will help with click and collect, there’s usually an extra cost for this but this is certainly worth investigating, you’ve already bought into the system. If you only plan to bring on a stand alone click and collect or delivery service then there are providers that do this.
Many providers have raced to find the perfect click and collect solution for hospitality and retail, mainly driven by the hospitality industry changing overnight in lockdown. Takeaway Sunday lunches and our favourite pub grub instantly became a success and offered the local pub the opportunity to continue to serve the locals.
For some the experience has been costly, delivery and ordering platforms taking around 30% of the revenue share once all charges are applied, However, the race to offer simpler but cost-effective solutions began. What you need is help to make the right decision with payment and EPOS providers and the solutions they have to offer.
May be all you need is a click and collect platform
If you’re not sure a full EPOS solution is right for you, or you’re nervous about taking the leap, then a stand alone click and collect service may be the answer, they’re quick to set up too!
Manually writing the Christmas turkey orders in a book, will be a distant memory come January 2021. The time in admin and staffing costs this little gem can save you is priceless with the ability to sell more. Who does not need this?
Have a website but your customers can’t buy online?
Another solution for taking orders is online, if you don’t have an online shop installed this can be a mountain to climb in the next 2 months, running into the festive season.
Virtual terminals do offer the ability to take orders over the telephone and reduce the cost of card processing charges for customer not present sales. They’re quite cost effective and usually run on 30 day rolling contracts, they are available from £10 – £20 per month.
One unique offering is the ability to create payment buttons which can be placed on social media posts, your website pages without needing a shopping cart. This is an excellent way to promote special offers or seasonal goods.
Contactless payments keep you and your customers safer
In conclusion, all the above are excellent, the likelihood that they will cost you more in the long run is slim. Far too many merchants have brought into adhoc solutions overtime and not been shown how to optimise these processes. How many have chased the better rate on a card machine, this typically is the root of the issue and more so if you were not advised correctly for your business.
Payments and consumer habits have changed, the pandemic has pushed the need for merchants to take stock. What would you rather have in the stable? Would you look for a thoroughbred that can run the distance or would you rather choose to have several small horses that cost more to feed?
Ultimately, all of the above offer the ability to limit physical contact with your customers, they only have the need to touch the card machine if the order is over £45. Integrated EPOS and terminals eliminate the need for the merchant to key in sale amounts, this is a safer for all.
Tracy Hazlewood offers FREE consultancy and payments support that is informative and inclusive for the Shropshire SME. Her expert knowledge and resources allow her to give the local business owner an understanding of the customer payments eco system, and includes a proactive and responsive approach.