Tech Breeds Trust: Why SMEs Need Digital Savvy to Drive Success

Can you remember the last time you were forced to pay by cash in a shop? How about being issued with a hand-written receipt? These are the kinds of experiences that tend to stick in the mind of the consumer, and ensure they never come back. As new Worldpay research shows, shoppers are increasingly tech savvy, and they’re prepared to vote with their feet if a retailer is deemed not to have kept up with the pace of digital innovation.

Gaining an advantage

We live in an age of rapid technological development. Apple and Android Pay, contactless cards, mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) and e-commerce have all helped retailers improve customer engagement, drive profits and reduce overheads. Those that spotted the benefits of these tech innovations early on have certainly been able to gain a competitive advantage. For example, small businesses using tablet based point of sale till systems, which can take payments anywhere in store with the aid of a tablet and paired card reader, offer the smoother, more professional experience that consumers increasingly expect. And a happy customer is more likely to return and spend again in store.

Indeed there’s increasing evidence to suggest that consumers actively distrust stores that do not invest in up-to-date technologies. In collaboration with digital anthropologist, Nik Pollinger, Worldpay surveyed 2,000 UK consumers and found that 75% trust retailers who deploy modern digital technologies more than those who do not1. The figure rose to 80% for those based in London and those under-35. Payments is one of the major areas where consumers have a low tolerance for outdated options. Nearly a quarter (22%) of those we spoke to said they’ve abandoned purchases in the past if their preferred payment option wasn’t available. 

But this trend also extends into other sectors. A quarter of under-35s said they wouldn’t dine in a restaurant that didn’t have a website. And 20% wouldn’t get their hair cut in a salon with no online presence. 

However, Worldpay’s My Business Hub is one such platform: a slick, ergonomically designed package combining card terminal, cash register and printer and powered by a portable tablet.

Ahead of the curve

It’s all about perception. As Pollinger says, technology has such a pervasive influence on our lives today that it even informs our decisions on whether a business should be considered professional or reputable. And with in-store platforms relatively cheap and easy to buy and install, consumers are less likely to trust those who have failed to make these investments.

Around 80% of high street businesses Worldpay spoke to earlier this year said they see technology as holding the key to their future survival2. They know that in today’s challenging business climate, they can’t afford to fall behind the curve. 

That’s why the development of new products such as My Business Hub is most useful. My Business Hub supports Chip & Pin, contactless and Apple Pay, giving the consumer maximum choice of payment types, and features automated cash and card reconciliation – freeing SME owners to focus on growing the business.