Today’s digitally driven consumers take for granted the ability to flit between in-store and online channels. And they want retailers to provide the same flexibility – regardless of their size.
Shoppers want convenience when they’re in a hurry and know what they want. But they also want the opportunity to ask questions and get tailored advice. They need everything right now, and to pay whichever way they choose.
High street businesses are in the front line of this period of change. Technology is not the enemy. In fact one recent report suggests digital technology could unlock £18.8bn of revenue for SMEs, while reducing their costs by up to a fifth1.
As a partner to small businesses across the UK, Worldpay is committed to helping them make the most of the opportunities, offering the tools, insights and technologies to help save time, reach new customers, and deliver the type of joined up retail experience modern shoppers want. Whether that is using ecommerce to open up new channels, using contactless to cut queues or mobile point of sale to provide a more bespoke customer experience in store.
As part of a national awareness campaign, Worldpay partnered with the Association of Town and City Managers to demonstrate the impact technology can have in helping small business owners grow through this period of change.
Kicking the campaign off and providing real-world examples of what happens when small businesses embrace and invest in technology, Worldpay travelled to the traditional seaside town of Great Yarmouth, helping local business capitalise on the benefits of technology, better understand some of the challenges they face and uncover new opportunities.
On the dedicated iStreet Hub you can find practical guidance from a panel of small business experts including Apprentice winner Tim Campbell and other subject matter experts in marketing, accountancy and other professional services to provide insight and counsel that could not only help small businesses sell more but also realise their larger ambitions.
Ellis Gee, of KINGS WINE BAR was one of those we met
Embracing technology to attract digitally minded customers
I moved to Great Yarmouth two decades ago and opened three bars in the area. We’ve had to navigate turbulent times, not least the impact of the intense ups and downs of the UK economy and a tough trading climate that has seen 10,000 pubs close since 2006. One thing that has stayed constant throughout is that success comes from your ability to put the customer first and deliver a seamless, high quality experience. It should meet – if not exceed - their expectations each and every time. From the first encounter through to making payment, every part of the journey communicates something about what you do and how you do it.
When it comes to payments, my tech-savvy customers expect elegant solutions that work. Getting that process right can make the difference between happy customers and those that leave early to go on somewhere else.
Rise of the machines
Processing payments quickly in this environment can make a big difference to takings at the end of the night, particularly at weekends. My current till makes business easier: it talks to my back office, records takings and improves charging accuracy - this is no easy feat considering I have over 300 products. That said, I would welcome a more integrated system that can do all of this cost effectively, securely and efficiently.
One thing I’m acutely aware of now is the need to boost the profile of my business online. We have a good flow of locals into Kings, but I think we’d benefit from greater visibility online to help drive passing trade from the influx of tourists to the area. Being in the town centre rather than on the promenade means tourists will often miss us entirely. I’m interested to understand how I can use the internet to make Kings more visible to passing trade, whether that’s using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, or moving us higher up the search rankings.
Each day, juggling a variety of tasks is a huge challenge as everything is a priority in my eyes. My day can range from sorting through paperwork and receipts, bookkeeping, checking stock, chasing suppliers, payroll, training staff and talking with customers. After seventeen years in the business, I wonder how it can be that I still can’t get everything I need to do done. And so my aim with this programme is to emerge from it with a greater understanding of how technology can help me save time so that I can focus on the things I really want to do with the business.
You can read more from Worldpay’s iStreet ambassadors alongside other practical guidance and insights on our iStreet Hub