[Marketing Memo] Can a credit card transaction be a small business marketing opportunity?
By Cary Weston
How can a credit card transaction turn into a marketing opportunity?
Make it cool, meaningful, and unique.
I was recently visiting the Apple store in Portland, Maine, which has basically become my Disney World of technology treasures, to find some certainly non-essential but still highly desired accessories for my digital toys.
And while the inventory and atmosphere is enough to amaze me each and every time, my true amazement came from paying.
You see, there are no cash registers in the Apple store in Portland, Maine. While this is probably true in many if not all Apple stores, I can only attest to our own. Instead of cash registers, there are iPhones. Instead of large terminals, there is a small swipe attachment for my credit card.
But what if you want to use cash? The iPhone communicates with a drawer in one of the display tables and it pops open to make change.
Way cool! You can be sure I told at least 10 people about that.
But what's even cooler is that the technology is not just at Apple. I found it right here in small town Maine at a store called Maine Maven in Orono, Maine.
I was looking to make a birthday surprise for an employee on a Sunday afternoon.
So I reached out and communicated with the owner via Twitter while stretched out in my recliner watching the Celtics game. Yes, that is my favorite shopping position :)
After communicating with her, I decided to purchase a gift card for our employee to use as the gift and they took my credit card number.
What I did not know was the credit card transaction was being done through an iPad and the receipt was emailed to me immediately. The receipt not only showed my purchase amount and the name of the store - but a map of where to find the store and the number of times I'd shopped at the store.
Way cool! And now I'm telling you about her store.
The device she uses is from Square One and is a very quick and easy way for small businesses to not only start accepting credit cards, but make an lasting impression on their customers.
Why would this be a marketing opportunity for a small business? Positive buzz is a fantastic tool for growing new customers.
Having raving fans is what small businesses live for and if something as simple and cost effective as a credit card transaction can create buzz, it's most certainly a tool worth looking into, isn't it?
- Cary Weston is a partner of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communications in Bangor, MaineConnect online:
Company's Web: www.sutherlandweston.com
Company's Twitter: www.twitter.com/SWMC_inc
Cary's Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/caryweston
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