The multi-channel digital Rolodex: Itís difficult for brick
and mortars to gather information about their customers. At worst,
information isnít collected at all, and at best, itís manually
entered into outdated spreadsheets. But with new generations of
consumers actively willing to share, small businesses are taking
advantage. With technology, merchants can easily link transactions
to digital contacts and use mobile devices to encourage customers
to share contact details, stay connected via social media and
receive special rewards in return.
Customer data gets a facelift: With new loyalty
technologies and a customer base thatís eager to engage, merchants
now have data theyíve never been able to access before. Going
beyond basic names and email addresses, small business owners have
a wealth of information at their fingertips that can impact the
bottom line, such as frequency of visits, purchasing behaviors and
total spend to date per customer. With these details, merchants
can market to specific patrons, such as lapsed customers, to drive
loyalty and long-term revenue.
Merchants become your friends onlineÖ: With the explosion
of social media, big businesses have found success using Facebook
and Twitter to create long-standing relationships with customers.
Now, itís Main Streetís turn. New, affordable technologies will
empower merchants to boost their brands online, allowing them to
connect with customers, send personalized messages, as well as
offer a more complete customer service experience overall.
Öand see real ROI as a result: For small businesses,
creating a company page on Facebook is no longer enough. Today,
merchants want to see direct links between social media efforts
and consumer spend, opening the door for a slew of social media
marketing technologies tailored for small businesses. Free or
low-fee social media measurement tools and specialized marketing
platforms help merchants track clicks and redemptions, see word of
mouth buzz build and capture customer-to-friend referrals.
Greater focus on the Baby Boomers: Research shows that
seniors are savvier than ever when it comes to technologyó42
percent are on social media (Pew),
and almost 15 percent use smartphones (Nielsen).
With this in mind, many small businesses will shift gears, turning
to marketing tools that help them better engage with Boomers on
the devices and platforms theyíre embracing.
For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel