Small Business Reports

business journal for business owners


Special: Report Review - Innovation Readiness

45% of business owners say innovation is critical to staying competitive

 A growing number of businesses are recognizing that they must embrace innovation
if they want to retain and attract customers in the digital age.

Source:   PYMNTS.COM   Innovation Readiness


62% of auto shops and contractors believe smart POS would make running their businesses easier and more convenient.

44.8 percent of business owners perceive innovation as critical to their survival.

Only 14.2 percent of these businesses are using smart point-of-sale (POS) systems, a crucial tool that can streamline payments, boost customer loyalty and track business operations.

At the same time, business owners recognize the value that specific technological applications can bring to their operations. For example, 75.6 percent are interested in expanding their payment acceptance capabilities with innovative solutions.

Accepting an array of digital payment methods, offering customer loyalty and being able to order and track inventory are key ways innovation can enhance business operations. These features and others can be found under the hood, as it were, of smart POS systems.

Customization is a key element of smart POS’ appeal among the consumer services firms that have implemented the technology or are very interested in doing so, cited by 56.3 percent. Unlike one-size-fits-all hard-wired terminals, smart POS can be tailored to meet companies’ unique needs. This corresponds to the technology’s second-most appealing aspect: that it works well.

Businesses perceive several benefits from smart POS technology, but the most important is that they find it convenient. Sixty-two percent mentioned that smart POS systems would bring ease of use and convenience to their operations, and nearly 50 percent cited cost-effectiveness

Garages, contractors, entertainment venues and other similar consumer services operations may be behind other sectors on innovation, but they show a lot of interest in consumer applications.

Consumer services businesses show a great deal of interest in consumer-facing apps like digital payments and receipts, customer satisfaction rankings and loyalty programs. Our research shows most respondents are interested in payments acceptance (75.6 percent), digital receipts (57.1 percent) and customer satisfaction rankings (50.1 percent). Many firms believe technological solutions — including ordering and managing inventory, booking appointments and loyalty and rewards programs — could also improve their back-office operations. The top related applications for this market segment are inventory management (49.2 percent), payroll management (47.6 percent), taking orders (42.5 percent) and marketing tools (42.3 percent).

Consumer services businesses largely trust their merchant payment service providers (PSPs) to deliver these digital solutions. It bears noting that most are very satisfied with their PSPs, but there is a lot of room for improvement. More than 40 percent of respondents were only “some-what satisfied” with their current providers, and approximately two-thirds of that group indicated a willingness to switch to another firm. This interest depends on affordability (60.9 percent), solutions’ integration levels (58.4 percent) and ease of use (54.7 percent), among other factors, while smaller firms noted that trust (45 percent), ease of use (54.2 percent) and fully integrated solutions (58 percent) were more important to them.

Some smaller businesses may be intimidated by the perceived cost and complexity of implementing smart POS systems. For this reason, the key feature SMBs seek when contemplating smart POS systems is ease of use.

70.8% of smaller garages were interested in customer-facing payments acceptance apps.

62.7% of businesses in the contracting field said they were willing to switch to different PSPs

The desire to stay competitive is driving innovation.

Digital innovation is transforming the retail economy in fundamental ways, but it is coming to some corners more gradually than others. The consumer services sector is seeing businesses like auto garages, contractors and entertainment and tourist venues rank lower on the innovation scale than other segments, but no business can afford to ignore the wave when digital technologies and platforms like Google and Yelp are making shopping around easier than ever. Consumer services companies are aware of this, too, and nearly half of those surveyed view innovation as critical to their survival. This sector is disproportionately comprised of SMBs, though, and thus struggles to adapt. Firms are uncertain whether the returns will justify their investments, making the perceived costs of changing their payments operations a key adoption barrier. What’s required are solutions that are uniquely tailored to these businesses’ needs. This is the great benefit of smart POS solutions, after all: that they can be customized to businesses’ priorities, whether that means broadening accepted payment methods or driving customer loyalty.

40% of consumer services merchants are very or extremely ready for innovation

26%of merchants are very or extremely interested in smart POS


Source:   PYMNTS.COM   Innovation Readiness





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