How Mobile Payments Can Help Your Hardware Store

A hardware store can be an integral part of any community: People may drop by whenever they need anything from a few nails to a new appliance. To keep customers coming back, store owners will want to make the buying experience as convenient as possible. That’s where mobile-payment systems come in.

Here’s how mobile payments can help your hardware store become even more successful:

1. Car-side assistance and payment: If a contractor or do-it-yourselfer buys bulky materials for a project, you don’t have to make them stand in a checkout line. Let them pull up to your loading dock (or roll a cart to their vehicle), load their materials, and have their transaction processed with your mobile-payment device.

2. Materials delivery: Better yet, you can offer your customers on-site delivery (for a fee, of course). Buyers can call, fax, or email orders to your store, and you can load the items into a truck and transport them wherever they are needed. A quick swipe of their credit card on your mobile-payment device completes the transaction.

3. Efficient rush-hour and special sales: You’ve probably identified certain promotions and/or times of year when there always seems to be a long line at your checkout counters. Equipping an employee with a mobile-payment device can reduce customer wait times and increase the average number of transactions your store can handle in an hour.

4. Cleaner transactions: Let’s face it: Hardware store workers get their hands dirty. Why ask them to hand customers a grubby, filthy pen to sign credit card slips? With mobile payments, customers can sign the touchscreen of a mobile device with their own (clean) fingers instead.

5. Bar or QR codes: From pipes to lumber, it’s impractical for many of your products to have bar codes affixed to them. It makes more sense to scan a sheet of bar or QR codes with a mobile phone than to type a numerical sequence into a cash register. This can even be done by an employee on the sales floor who isn’t anywhere near the checkout counter.

6. Bulk purchases: When you promote credit card use, your average transaction amount goes up. In a hardware store, that may be enough to convince many customers to buy in bulk rather than have to worry about having enough cash on hand to pay for smaller amounts of materials. Mobile payments can help persuade customers to reach for their credit cards instead of cash or a checkbook.

7. Buyer history: Want to know what your customers are purchasing? Mobile-payment software can tell you, so you can better anticipate and prevent inventory shortages. The software also gives you vital information about how to structure your next marketing initiatives, promotions, and/or discounts.

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