Are you presenting the most convenient shopping experience for your customers? Modern era convenience encompasses so many things, such as online shopping as well as swift delivery. Even in brick and mortar stores, the shopping and paying process has been streamlined for extra convenience. This is most evident in credit and debit card acceptance. There are so many advantages for consumers to use a plastic card instead of cash. Many of those advantages carry over to the merchant as well.
Why should merchants offer credit card payment options?
The ultimate goal of any business is to make sales and earn a profit. Offering multiple payment options is one of the key methods of increasing sales. When a customer has more than one payment option, they are more likely to make a purchase. They are also more likely to perceive your business in a positive light, both because of the convenience afforded them and the higher status implied by having multiple payment facilities.
Many modern consumers are reluctant to carry cash and prefer paying by credit or debit card for both large and small purchases. However, offering credit card payment options has more benefits than simply increasing sales. Merchants that accept credit card payments not only typically increase their number of sales, but also typically increase the value of each sale.
The New York Times has stated that one scientific study “showed that in certain contexts, people were willing to pay up to twice as much for the same item when paying with a credit card instead of cash. This is known as the ‘credit card premium’.”
Consumers’ spending habits generally change when they use credit cards compared to when they use cash. Credit card holders tend to place higher value on product quality and features instead of price when shopping. Therefore they are more likely to purchase products with the best features or highest quality, which are typically the products with higher price tags.
Are you offering your customers the credit card premium?
The reasoning behind consumers’ perception of the ‘credit card premium’ can be used to a merchant’s advantage to increase sales. Basic consumer psychology explains why this phenomenon exists: spending money triggers guilt. When paying with cash, the consumer has a physical reminder in their hands of their financial limits, which can increase their guilt and hesitance to spend money. However, when paying with a card, a consumer’s budget or limit is more abstract, and they may feel they have more to spend. “Out of sight, out of mind” or “pay now, think about the bill later” can often sum up the thought processes behind paying with a card instead of cash. While this type of spending behavior can lead to overspending and debt, statistics show that a vast majority of consumers rely on credit when making purchases, from one-off items to recurring bills and fees.
Merchants that provide credit card payment options are catering to consumers’ perceptions of convenience and to the credit card premium. By understanding their customers’ preferences and spending habits, merchants can improve their shopping experiences and increase their sales at the same time.
For more information about how to increase your sales by offering credit card payment options or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.