As an owner of a souvenir shop, you need to be mindful of the balance between the prices and profit margins of the goods. Now that digitalization has taken over, every business has to offer multiple payment methods like cash, cheques, debit cards, credit cards, online payments, etc.
Usually, customers prefer card payments to improve their loyalty points or miles, which boosts business sales. However, due to the high payment processing fees, card payments are not beneficial for small business owners. The owner has to bear the additional costs of having a merchant account.
On top of that, interchange fees have risen over time to tackle the ever-rising scam and cybercrime cases. Increased e-commerce fees make credit card payments even more difficult for businesses.
It is a huge problem for business owners as their customers prefer credit card transactions, which is unsuitable for them. In such a situation, what should a small business do?
Some of them charge an extra fee to the customers for paying through a card, but it pisses off the customers. So, offering a cash discount can be an attractive and effective offer for small business owners. It encourages customers to pay in cash instead of credit card transactions.
This article will discuss the importance of a cash discount program and how you can implement it in your business.
What Is a Cash Discount Program?
Since credit card processing fees are regularly increasing, there has been an increase in the popularity of cash discount programs. Initially, gas filling stations started encouraging people to pay in cash which later became popular with other businesses. It helps business owners to have more cash in their wallets.
Many souvenir shops now offer cash discounts to save the additional credit card payment costs. The cash discount programs can help businesses to earn 2.5%-3.5% more money as compared to regular sales.
A cash discount program’s sole purpose is to offer discounts to customers when they pay by cash instead of a card. It is beneficial for customers, too, as they do not have to pay credit card fees.
However, if a customer insists on paying by card to improve his credit card points or miles, the business can charge him additional payment processing costs. This way, the business does not lose anything.
Benefits of Cash Discounts
Some of the benefits that you could get by introducing cash discounts at your Souvenir shop are:
Increase in Profit
The most important benefit of cash discounts is encouraging customers to use cash instead of card payments. It helps the business to be more profitable because credit card processing fees are eliminated.
Be Carefree About the Increasing Fees on Cards
Once you start offering cash discounts to customers, you will not have to worry about the constant increases in the payment processing costs of the cards like Visa, Mastercard, etc. You will have complete control over the earnings of the shop.
Now, you will not have to decline the usage of cards at your shop because cash discounts will do their magic.
The best marketing technique for a business is to put its products on sale or at discounts. It attracts more customers and boosts sales of the Souvenir shop.
Higher Cash Flow
Customers usually prefer paying through debit or credit cards because they do not want to carry cash in their pockets. But when businesses offer cash discounts, it convinces the customers to use cash which is beneficial for the business. As a result, the business achieves its goal of increasing cash flow so that they do not have to wait for one or two days to get the card payments in cash.
Moreover, cash payments are relatively safe because the customer cannot scam. So, it is a win-win situation for small businesses if the customer pays cash.
Easy to Join
Joining a cash discount program does not require much effort; you just need to have a reliable connection with a bank that offers such a program to merchants. After signing and programming your POS, you can participate in the cash discount program.
The POS system is simple, but you can still consult your bank’s representative handling your money. So, it is an easy-to-set-up system that does not take much effort and time. You may have to pay a small customer service fee, but it is worth spending the extra money.
Challenges of the Souvenir Shops Industry
Every business has to face challenges, including small and large-scale businesses. But a small business has more problems since it involves less investment and income. A few of the challenges that a Souvenir shop owner might face are:
Social Media Marketing
In the age of digital media, social media plays a key role in uplifting and boosting the sales of a business. Through social media marketing, a business expands to the maximum number of people, resulting in more sales and profits.
You need to invest time and money into effectively marketing your business. If you do not have enough money to market your business, competitors may leave you behind. Hence, it is a challenge to manage the overall costs of marketing, and advertising is challenging.
Hiring skilled and professional employees is also a huge task. Your employees play an important role in providing top-notch customer service so that the customers keep returning to shop. You might have to invest money in training the staff to provide welcoming and professional customer service.
You need to intelligently select cooperative employees so that they can help you increase sales of the shop.
Increase in Service Costs
Even though digitalization has made everyone’s life easier and simple, it costs extra money for businesses when they accept credit card payments. As a result, the profit margins of the business decline.
Unfortunately, these taxes and fees keep on rising, which can be damaging for a small business. So, the increase in service costs is also a challenge for the growth of your Souvenir shop.
Impact of Inflation
Inflation is a universal issue that affects all businesses. When the prices of the goods increase, you ultimately have to revise your selling costs. It can cause a decline in customers because they will find your prices higher.
Hence, you need to tackle the situation efficiently by offering cash discount programs to attract more customers and save the credit card processing cost.
Does Your Business Need a Cash Discount Program?
Before you finalize getting a cash discount program for your Souvenir shop, you should see whether or not it is essential for your business. Here are a few questions that you should ask yourself before joining a cash discount program:
Do You Prefer Cash Payments at Your Souvenir Shop?
The idea of cash discount programs is captivating for small businesses, but cash payments might not always be their priority. Counting and handling cash at every sale can be quite a task. You also risk getting robbed while carrying the cash to the bank. However, a cash discount program increases your sales which is the most important thing for a small business.
Are There Regular Customers at Your Shop?
Souvenir shops usually have regular customers who frequently return for shopping. By analyzing their preferred payment options, you can assess the percentage of customers who pay by cash.
You can introduce the dual pricing model for your loyal customers who want to make credit card purchases, which can make both of you happy and satisfied. Try explaining the benefits of paying in cash to all your customers so they are well-educated.
How to Get Started With a Cash Discount Program?
Setting up a cash discount program for your Souvenir shop is easy, but you need to hire a professional merchant processor representative. They will guide you through the complete set up process of the program so that you provide smooth and quick service to your customers. Here is how you can get started with the cash discount program:
- Get in touch with an experienced merchant processing to get help regarding the discount program.
- Physically meet the merchant processor representative and discuss your reservations and expectations about the program. Decide all the terms and conditions of the cash discount program.
- Once you thoroughly understand the program, you can apply to get registered.
- Get the POS equipment according to your business’s needs.
- Take help from your merchant processor representative to come into the shop and help you to install and use the equipment.
- Now, start offering the cash discount program and save money.
Cash discount programs provide benefits to both owner and the customer. However, it is the customer’s choice to decide the mode of payment. They can decide whether they will pay in cash or by card. You can only guide and convince them to use cash payments.
What Do Souvenir Shops Need for Cash Discount Programs?
Overall, you do not need special tools and hardware to set up the cash discount program at your Souvenir shop to eliminate credit card processing fees. All you need is great preparation and a bit of programming to install a POS or credit card terminal.
Another important thing to do before introducing a successful cash discount program at your shop is to advertise it through banners or pictures. Some reputable credit card companies will ask you to market the new program you just joined so that customers know it.
Lastly, the staff at the shop must be trained by professionals to provide smooth and quick customer service.
Customer Reviews About Cash Discount Programs
Whenever a new business policy is introduced, its success can be judged by the customers’ response. If the customers welcomed it wholeheartedly and were eager to try it out, it is a good sign for the business. Similarly, the success of cash discount programs depends upon customer response.
Most customers do not have an issue with cash discount programs because they benefit both businesses and customers. With cash purchases, they can buy a product without extra charges due to card processing fees. Hence, it is a win-win situation for everyone.
The shop’s loyal customers welcome the cash discount program and happily join it by paying in cash. They understand the problems a business has to face when paying by credit or debit card.
Even high-end or branded souvenir shops have also started introducing cash discount programs, leading to customer acceptance. Since cash discount programs are becoming popular daily, customers are also starting to prefer payments by cash.
The popularity of cash discount programs is rising daily due to the increased credit card processing fee on credit card transactions. Small business owners appreciate cash payment compared to credit card payment because it helps them have more money in their pockets.
However, every business should know the pros and cons of cash discount processing before hopping on the new trend. A merchant processor representative is an important figure to consult all your queries and issues because he will help you make an informed decision.
If you think a cash discounting program is necessary for your shop, you must hire a professional merchant processing representative to set it up for you. Apply for the cash discount program through the representative by paying the merchant fees and getting the equipment installed to get going.
Once everything is set up for use, ensure that your staff is fully trained to use the POS system. Now, see the magic of a cash discount program which leads to increased customer flow. Good Luck!
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Paul Martinez is the founder of EcomSidekick.com. He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, eCommerce, traffic and conversion.
Join him on EcomSidekick.com to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this media site, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.