Dry-cleaning is an essential service, but compared to a coin-fed washing machine, it can be a little expensive. This means the average consumer brings their best suit for a job interview or their wedding dress sometime before the big day. But on average, they may or may not come regularly.
Executives who wear suits every day come by more often. So do chauffeurs, concierges, service staff, and security personnel, because their work uniforms require dry-cleaning. These customers are regulars because it’s part of their job.
Peaks and Valleys
For the first type of customer, you’ll have peak seasons where your shop always seems to be full. These times include prom season, college graduations, or summertime, because a lot of weddings happen in the summer. Another potential peak is at the start of winter. Consumers will be pulling out abandoned winter coats, or buying new ones from flea markets or goodwill.
Before they wear these items – which have been in storage for a year and are probably dank and moldy – they’ll want to give it a deep clean. But the rest of the year, your client numbers are significantly lower, and it can be hard to keep the lights on. Luckily, one little tweak can help. Just start accepting credit cards!
A lot of people would dry-clean more frequently, if only they could afford it. And paying by credit card often convinces consumers they can afford nice things. So while they may not want to fork out cash to get that spill off their rental cocktail dress, they’ll be far happier to ‘swipe the stain away’.
Affordability and Convenience
Credit cards can also help you tap into the returns market, because many ‘only worn once’ outfits need to be dry-cleaned before they head back to Macy’s or Trader Joe’s. Another advantage is loyalty points. You can tie them to credit cards, whether your client comes in once a month or twice a day. So when they do need something cleaned, you’ll be their only choice.
Depending on the merchant processor you select, you can get free POS (point of sale) terminals. The most convenient options are electronic keypads, smartphone apps, and online checkout carts. With the latter, customers can book their item online and pay their deposit, then you can send someone over to pick their item. This is extremely attractive to infrequent customers.
For clients who’d rather come into your store, you can send the receipts directly to their inboxes or smartphones. They can even photograph their dry-cleaining ticket using their phones, so there’s no more panic over lost tickets when they come to collect their items. It works out for everyone!
For more information on why your dry cleaning business will benefit from credit card processing, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.