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SMALL-BUSINESS POINT-OF-SALE BATTLE: Here's how point-of-sale providers can adapt their offerings for the coronavirus pandemic to win over small businesses

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The coronavirus pandemic has put the future of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in jeopardy. Many SMBs are on the brink of closing permanently in the wake of the pandemic. The crisis forced many to temporarily close and has caused drops in demand as consumers deal with financial difficulties and follow social distancing guidelines.

The sudden drop in earnings, which may continue if pandemic conditions don't improve soon, could lead to wide-scale small-business closures in the coming months, and medium-sized businesses may be facing similar risks since the prolonged nature of the crisis is likely cutting into any additional resources and funds they have access to.

By helping SMBs survive the crisis, point-of-sale (POS) solution providers will preserve their client bases and strengthen their appeal to prospective customers. Many SMBs already had some form of POS system in order to accept payments. But now they may also need tools that help them digitize their business, adjust their operations, and trim their costs for post-pandemic survival. POS providers that offer features that help SMBs meet these needs during the pandemic have a chance to protect current revenue streams and set themselves up for growth after the crisis.

In the Small Business Point-Of-Sale Battle report, Insider Intelligence lays out the difficulties SMBs are facing during the pandemic and the opportunities POS providers have in helping firms address those pain points. We look at how POS providers can attract new SMB clients while helping their existing customers by meeting their changing needs during the pandemic.

We also consider which SMB segments POS providers should prioritize based on their ability to outlast the pandemic. Finally, we examine the changes top POS providers have made to help SMBs survive and consider what best practices other firms should adopt themselves.

The companies mentioned in this report are: BigCommerce, First Data, Ingenico, PayPal, Shopify, ShopKeep, Square, Stripe, SumUp, Toast, TouchBistro, and Visa.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The coronavirus pandemic is endangering SMBs as revenues have dried up and they have few funds to fall back on and use to adjust their operations.
  • The pandemic's impact on SMBs poses a problem for POS solutions providers, since SMBs are a key client segment.
  • POS solutions providers must support their current SMB clients to help them survive the pandemic, and they also have the chance to recruit new customers that are in need of new tools.
  • Targeting the needs of specific SMB segments can help POS providers solidify their performance amid the pandemic, and POS providers should consider longevity and and demand for POS solutions when determining what areas to focus on.
  • POS solution providers should provide solutions that meet SMBs needs for digitization, operational changes, and financial support during the pandemic.
  • Major POS solution providers with various backgrounds and focuses have added a number of new tools and programs in response to the pandemic, offering blueprints for other providers. 

In full, the report:

  • Examines how the pandemic is affecting SMBs, as well as how their struggles should influence POS solutions providers' strategies.
  • Discusses how POS solutions providers should determine which segments of SMBs are most worth targeting during the crisis.
  • Lays out the three categories of needs providers should focus their solutions on to support existing clients and attract new ones.
  • Looks at several initiatives and features introduced by major POS solutions providers in response to the pandemic that other players should consider offering themselves.

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