Without a doubt, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed everything. Having said that, with change also comes opportunity. Let’s take a look at a few of the opportunities that await ISVs in the COVID (and post-COVID world). Hint: Many of the tips are about adding value and being a trusted resource and partner to your merchants in what are challenging times for all of us.
1Continued remote work adoption.
According to Forbes the “Remote Work Revolution is upon us.” Further, a recent Gallup poll found that 60% of Americans would prefer to work from home “as much as possible” even after coronavirus restrictions are lifted. What’s more, many employers are likely to acquiesce to workers’ desires for flexible work-from-home options to attract the best candidates. Doing so will also help employers protect their workforces while reducing overhead. This means employees will continue to be free to travel more. ISVs are uniquely positioned to help businesses who may have relied on in-person payments in the past, cater to this more mobile customer base by helping them get set up to seamlessly and safely accept payments online and ship to anywhere in the country, or even anywhere in the world.
2More loyalty program integration.
Many businesses rely on tourism. With in-person tourism down, loyalty program integration is a great value-add that you can offer merchants that can help them right now. In fact, with effective programs helping to increase annual spend by an amazing 26%, your guidance to merchants in this area could prove to be extremely valuable. Help them implement a data-driven loyalty program that encourages repeat purchases, and allows them to build a loyal customer base, even if customers can’t be in their physical locations.
3A need for nimble partners.
If there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught us it’s this: The future is uncertain. Given the unpredictable retail environment we’re currently operating in, it is extremely challenging for merchants to accurately forecast sales, not to mention maintain the right-sized workforces. It is therefore imperative that merchants remain nimble enough to pivot and change course as needed. As an ISV, this again gives you the opportunity to be a nimble and responsive partner that merchants can count on to provide add-on services as needed to their customer base.
As many of us continue to work remotely, technology has found a way to bring us all together. Video and voice chat software is everywhere. Make sure you’re embracing these and other technologies to safely perform online product demos, attend virtual trade shows, and more. Finally, encourage your merchants to embrace their inner tech geeks as well to get their ecommerce strategy implemented, stay in touch with their customers via social media, fire out email marketing campaigns, and so forth.
For every merchant venturing into the ecommerce world for the first time, there is, unfortunately, a cybercriminal lying in wait. Now, more than ever, you as an ISV can prove to be a trusted partner to merchants when it comes to safeguarding their businesses (and their customers’ sensitive data) from would-be hackers. Demonstrate your value by being merchants’ trusted source for solutions that are PCI-compliant and use the latest in certified point-to-point encryption and military-grade tokenization.
COVID-19 restrictions mean more consumers are paying via payments apps, mobile devices, mobile wallets, and technologies like contactless EMV and NFC. However, it is important to note that these are very likely not temporary fads. The reality is, once consumers embrace the convenience of options like food delivery services, curbside pickup, and contactless payments, they are unlikely to give them up. The severity of the COVID-19 outbreak means you have no choice but to help merchants prepare for the here and now. The good news is that in doing so, you’ll also be helping them prepare for the future.