small businesses

Small businesses: Can technology save them?

It is very likely that, walking down the main street of your town, have noticed that what was once the bustling heart of a community is today a ghost town. What is the picture today? Empty shops everywhere, squeezed between discount stores and flea markets. Traditional trade has disappeared, and in just a few years. Can technology save small businesses is the question we aim to answer on this post.

The causes

The rise of online shopping is one of the main factors contributing to the decline of the main streets and small businesses. According RetailResearch.org, e-commerce market is the fastest growing in Europe, and the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain increased sales of 156,670 million is expected pounds (185,390 million euros) in 2015 to a staggering 185,440 million pounds (219,440 million euros) in 2016 (+18,4%). In EE.UU. Sales will reach 398,780 million dollars (245,960 million pounds) in 2016.

Day heading to the counter person to pay for the purchase are almost numbered. New ways to pay are the direct cause of this.

What this success is due? The simple reason is that with the Internet, you can access the e-commerce stores at any time of day and any day of the week. Yes, it is true that you have to wait a few days until the order arrives you home, but that flexibility is what is attractive. But is any hope for the more traditional forms of trade? The answer is technology. Let us examine some examples.

QR codes to make more interactive shopping

For some time now QR codes are, but in the world of commerce are particularly popular. In fact, the American electronics store Best Buy began to implement them in its stores and in 2010. The labels are stuck on store displays, or even on the packaging so that customers can know more about a particular product (a natural desire we all have when we bought). Thanks to this decision is much easier.

QR codes in stores today are much more ambitious. In 2009, Tesco opened a virtual shop at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea. The shop was like any other supermarket Tesco, but contained no physical products, but food images and QR codes next to them.

The idea was to create a more interactive shopping experience for customers, Tesco and picked the fruit, an increase of 76% customers and a sales increase of 130%. Since then, you are installing smaller stores these bus stops Asian country versions.

Smart shelves for ads in stores more relevant

Ads can be very annoying. Many times you ask yourself: “And what do I care?” For example: you are allergic to tomatoes, but a supermarket sends you an e-mail about a new kind of ketchup. For what?

Mondelēz international, the maker of brands like Oreo cookies and Ritz, predicts that in the future will have smart shelves supermarkets. They will be placed in the boxes and near food snacks, and use sensors to generate ads relevant products and offers, according to demographic information on buyers.

For example, if you’re a teenager, you’re the target audience ad sweets and chewing gum on the shelves. Coffee or, if you’re an adult who is going to work. If you take one of these products, some weights on the shelves perceive and offer a coupon, to be more likely to make a purchase. In essence, these shelves will purchase is much more relevant.

New ways to pay for products

Day heading to the counter person to pay for the purchase are almost numbered. New ways to pay are the direct cause of this. Apple Pay, presented in USA in October 2014, just a month ago in the UK, it is one of these innovations.

The rise of online shopping is one of the main factors contributing to the decline of the main streets and small shops.

The particular digital wallet service Apple uses NFC (near field communication) technology to contactless pay points and my sale. The good thing is Apple’s version does not need specific contactless payment terminals and works with Visa payWave terminals, MasterCard PayPass and American Express ExpressPay.

You do not even have to use a single service to pay. Many chains have their own digital payment methods. With the official app of Starbucks, for example, you can comfortably afford your purchases from the smartphone and also get discounts and prizes. This shows that the coffee chain has identified a trend among its customers and takes practice.

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