Our recent article on mobile barcode scanning generated quite a stir among garden center owners and operators. In particular, we were pleased to hear from one of our readers who sent us the following:
“We’re a small garden center, but need a mobile unit to process sales and receive payment. Any suggestions?”
Imagine a spring where your customers could pay without having to wait in line for your two cash registers. That is quickly becoming a reality in independent garden centers across North America. Mobile transactions offer convenience, quality service and faster processing - all things the modern consumer is now expecting at every store they shop at. Every year mobile payment technology is being adopted not only in the independent retail businesses but in big box stores as well. The highly competitive nature of the retail industry means customer service is what will set you apart. Walmart understands that and has launched a new pilot program using mobile checkout technology in their lawn and garden departments.
“Walmart is testing a new program called Check Out With Me in the Lawn & Garden Centers of more than 350 stores across the country, just in time for the busy spring season. Outfitted with cellular devices and Bluetooth printers, Lawn & Garden associates at these select stores can check out customers and provide a receipt on the spot. Customers no longer need to venture into the physical store to pay for items like mulch, soil, and flowers, saving them valuable time.”
Technology levels the playing field for independent garden centers as there are affordable technologies that offer small businesses the same functionality, helping them compete against the big box stores.
The Benefits of Mobile Payments Processing
Mobile payment technology offers greater benefits to independent retailers and garden centers because it has a significant positive impact on transaction times. Mobile payment ultimately improves a retailer’s transaction capacity which positively impacts the customer's experience. Offering exceptional customer service helps independent garden center compete against the big box stores.
Here are three key benefits of mobile payment processing technology:
Transaction Speed - Mobile payment processing technology is faster than traditional systems, meaning you can cut up to 30 seconds per transaction is card processing time alone.
Convenience - Customers can pay anywhere in the store which eliminates the need for lines at cash registers.
POS Integrations - Mobile payment is often integrated with your POS system which offers important operational and inventory management benefits.
Evaluating Mobile Payment Technology for Garden Centers
Before you begin looking for a technology provider, it is important to first determine what you need for your business. Consider the following questions before looking for a mobile payment solution.
- What is the primary reason you are looking to adopt mobile payment?
- What business opportunities does mobile payment offer?
- How do you want to manage all your transaction in the future and how will mobile payment fit into that plan?
- How do customers typically pay for your products already?
Once you have answered those questions, you are ready to start evaluating the various options available to your garden center. There are a lot of options out there, but you should consider options that allow customers to use their credit cards as most consumers have yet to transition to a mobile wallet. Being able to accommodate most forms of payment is preferable.
Here a couple of options that have been widely adopted by retailers:
Square- Square is one of the first companies to offer mobile payment processing and they have a great, easy-to-use system. They have a sleek card reader that connects directly to a mobile device and offer retailers many options to choose from according to their specific business needs.
Intuit’s Quickbooks GoPayment- GoPayment is a great option for businesses who are familiar with QuickBooks for their accounting. They offer a simple mobile credit card reader that integrates QuickBooks, making this a worthwhile consideration for QuickBooks users.
Other payment options like Apple Pay require customers to have a specific account to make a payment. Try to avoid technologies with particular account requirements as they aren’t as universal for your customers. There will be a transitional period for your business, and you might need to update other systems like your POS system to accommodate mobile payment processing technology, so make sure you do your research before diving in. Establishing where you want your business in the future and how you plan on getting there is important and will provide you clarity when making decisions.