What Verification and Targeted Deals Can Do For Your Business
As you expand and aim to maximize your market share in 2014, promoting your exclusive offers, in-store via mobile, and online, should be a high priority. According to PriceGrabber.com, 66 percent of consumers expect retailers to offer better prices and discounts this year because of the economy, meaning your marketing campaign should include a variety of deals and discounts to entice buyers to connect with your brand on a personal level and spend more with you instead of your competitor.
However, offering a targeted discount, say 25 percent-off to military members or teachers and students, isn’t as simple as asking to see an ID. How do you know if your employees are making sure that customers are eligible? How are you training in-store personnel and call center teams to check that your customers are part of those respective groups? For your discounts to truly bring in new customers and double-down on your existing customers’ loyalty there has to be a system in place to ensure you are segmenting accurately to invite eligible individuals to take advantage of the right discounts.
Today, many retailers are turning to verification software to do the legwork of vetting their customers at point-of-sale for them. By implementing verification at point-of-sale, they are able to focus on their business and reach out to the most valuable groups, helping boost revenues, grow the customer base, and spark valuable evangelism.
Avoid fraud and protect margins
In an age where identity theft is common and retail fraud costs businesses over $100 billion annually according to LexisNexis, trust at point-of-sale is no longer a chance that small businesses can afford to take. Mobile commerce and online retail further impact these numbers, removing the face-to-face customer experience, often the first line of defense when a fraudster tries to take advantage of a discount.
While some forms of identification do not always have expiration dates, like college IDs, verification software can still verify that a customer is in fact a currently enrolled student by bumping customer data against real time big data, and confirming whether or not there is a match. The benefit to the customer is trust and security; the software doesn’t save or sell personal data provided by the customers, so both you and your customer remain safe from any fraud or exposure at point-of-sale.
Decrease the time spent on checking identification at POS
With busy schedules, the last thing you need your employees doing during valuable work hours is to sift through identification paperwork needed to prove discount eligibility. In fact, with the excitement of a long line of shoppers, the easiest thing for an associate to do is let everyone get the discount with little more than a verbal request. In such a high-paced environment, you will either be reviewing numbers indicating that suddenly everyone claimed to be a student or served in the military, or you will be fielding posts in social media about customers who felt confronted instead of respected and abandoned their experience in your store to go somewhere with shorter checkout lines. In short, time is money. While you previously may have asked your customers to submit an ID and a paystub during checkout to ensure they are eligible, verification software significantly cuts down the time spent at the register or online for both you and the shopper, increasing your number of transactions and limiting overhead across the board.
Bring in new, loyal customers
While a “buy one, get one” free discount or a flash sale may bring in revenue, these offers do not entice customers to come back over and over the way an exclusive discount can. According to a SheerID survey, 94 percent of active and retired military service members take note of a military-friendly business and have a positive impression of those brands as a result. By offering authentically exclusive, highly targeted discounts to military service members, teachers, students and other valuable groups, you are able to grow your customer base of returning, loyal shoppers.
As an added benefit, verification software can also identify and differentiate between a new and existing customer, with the ability to provide special offers in real-time based on an individual’s history with your brand or store.
The economy and consumer behavior now demand the lowest prices and compelling deals for consumers, and new tools like verification software have emerged to ensure retailers can maintain revenue growth without sacrificing the quality of their customer experience or increasing operating expenses. With 2014 settling in, truly exclusive discounts and back-end support at the register may end up being just what you need to ramp up your business for growth all year.
Contributed by Jake Weatherly of SheerID. Jake Weatherly is a co-founder and CEO of SheerID, an online shopping cart platform that provides group verification.