Many businesses are viewing this COVID-19 pandemic as a time to just focus on survival. But businesses can use this opportunity to stimulate sales, build up immediate access to capital, and save money on processing fees by offering our cash discount program.
Even while upwards of 40 million Americans are unemployed, money is still flowing through the economy with remote work, stimulus checks, and pandemic unemployment insurance. Consumers still need many of the items they needed before, and they’re willing to spend money. They also want to save money—which is why you should offer cash discounts.
A cash discount essentially involves offering a lower price on goods or services paid for with cash, check, or gift cards. It may also involve offering a discount on items paid for in full before a certain time period elapses. By contrast, credit card payments are handled by payment processing solutions. These merchant processing companies charge fees ranging anywhere from 1.5% to 3.5% of the transaction.
Many times merchants will cover these fees by charging more for an item, but that drives down their competitive edge—something you don’t want to do at a time like this. Regain your position (or keep it) by offering prices with no hidden fees that are lower than your competition…for anyone who pays by cash, check, or gift card.
Cash discounts can help you maintain the capital reserves you need to keep your business running. You’ll be able to pay your suppliers in turn, who might also be offering cash discounts. Cash is once again king as the economy nurses its way back to health. Keep in mind that while cash payments certainly do involve actual cash, they also involve payments made with a debit card—so implementing our cash discount program becomes a great way.
There are also a few other things you can to help your business thrive during these times.
Can you sell something relating to COVID-19?
Conduct some market research and see what consumers are buying now. For example, if you sell apparel, can you sell masks? If you own a restaurant, can you put together themed dinner packages that break up the monotony of quarantine? While this won’t work for every business, chances are there is something you can do to pivot your business towards the times.
Can you promote cash discounts?
Like anything else, you have to market our cash discount program if you’re offering it to customers. Incorporating it into your advertising campaigns will require a little market research and trial and error. Learning how to use social media ads (or hiring someone who knows) can go a long way right now, with so many people inside because of quarantine.
Can you proactively communicate with your clients?
Be proactive about communicating with your clients. If your actual business location is open, build consumer confidence by sharing what you’re doing to keep the store sanitary. Let customers know about changed hours, delays with fulfillment, or anything else relating to the pandemic. Transparency builds trust—and can transition into advertising.
Can you bring your services or expertise into customer’s homes?
Explore options for delivering content to your customers. Put videos on social media channels or host a Zoom class about how to dye hair, how to install a wall shelf, how to make banana flambé, or how to file taxes. Whatever your business is all about, keep your customers interested. This is also a good time to start leveraging email marketing—let customers know about your streaming or video offerings. You can also use video or chat services to deliver paid content, like consulting or tutoring.
Can you lock customers into long term arrangements?
Entice customers both old and new into a long term contract with discounts. If you can’t collect cash or checks in person, encourage a one-time in-full payment with our cash discounts, echeck, ACH, or wire transfers. You can also provide subscription services that bring in a monthly direct deposit from your customers.
Can you promote gift cards?
Promote your gift cards both for personal use and as gifts. You can play up the value of giving a gift card in your advertising campaign, along with mentioning cash discounts. You can also use gift cards as prizes in a raffle that helps you collect customer contact information, like emails. Then you can use those emails to market your services or advertise your products.
You will still want to make sure you’re taking credit card and debit card payments, especially because so many people are at home. To that end, having a merchant processing company like National Processing will help you continue to collect the much needed payments that will help your business survive. But as we’ve seen above, there are some ways to pivot your business so that you can not only survive, but thrive during these times.
One of those ways is by offering our cash discount program, which encourages cash payments to be made via debit card. It’s very easy to implement, as we set up the terminals you need and service them. All you’ll need to do in return is provide signage about the discount, indicate the pricing differentials on your receipts, and make your in-store pricing for non-cash payments explicitly reflect a 3.8 to 4.0%. By implementing our cash discount program along with the other tips we’ve outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to thriving during these times.