SpotOn Predicts Top Small Business Technology Trends for 2H 2013


SpotOn Predicts Top Small Business Technology Trends for 2H 2013

Merchants embrace mobile, big data and innovative customer experiences to grow bottom lines

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- SpotOn, the leading loyalty and marketing platform for small business, today released its predictions for small business technology adoption in the second half of 2013. With a heavy focus on going mobile, merchants will increasingly invest in technology to run and grow their businesses, keeping them one step ahead of the competition.

"Just a few years ago, technology like loyalty platforms and innovative payment solutions was only available to big budget businesses. Now, these solutions are more cost-effective and accessible to the everyday business owner," said Matt Hyman, co-founder of SpotOn. "Later this year into next, we expect to see a huge uptick in technology that helps small businesses work smarter, not harder, and build better, more memorable experiences for their customers."

SpotOn's top predictions for 2H 2013 include:


Death of the cash register as we know it: Across the U.S., retailers are ditching traditional POS systems in favor of touch screen phones and tablets to better-engage with shoppers, shrink check-out lines and improve customer experiences. Given the trickle-down effect, expect smaller, more tech-forward businesses to follow suit, using mobile devices to do everything from payment processing to deal and reward redemptions.


Minimum wage hikes and Obamacare opens doors for new tech: With minimum wages rising from coast to coast, as well as Obamacare pressures, business owners need to ensure that employee time, and operating budgets, are spent wisely. Because training and planning can only do so much, expect to see a surge in new technology solutions that help merchants do more with less, making employees more productive and efficient, as well as simplifying the business management side of the house for owners.


Expansion of hyper-local reach through mobile: Small businesses will invest marketing dollars in technology that "puts them on the map" in their local communities, but not just for people who live or work in the neighborhood. With more consumers using their location-enabled devices to search for businesses nearby, merchants will leverage mobile to increase their visibility and attract customers that are passing through the area.


The multi-channel digital Rolodex: It's difficult for brick and mortars to gather information about their customers. At worst, information isn't collected at all, and at best, it's manually entered into outdated spreadsheets. But with new generations of consumers actively willing to share, small businesses are taking advantage. With technology, merchants can easily link transactions to digital contacts and use mobile devices to encourage customers to share contact details, stay connected via social media and receive special rewards in return.


Customer data gets a facelift: With new loyalty technologies and a customer base that's eager to engage, merchants now have data they've never been able to access before. Going beyond basic names and email addresses, small business owners have a wealth of information at their fingertips that can impact the bottom line, such as frequency of visits, purchasing behaviors and total spend to date per customer. With these details, merchants can market to specific patrons, such as lapsed customers, to drive loyalty and long-term revenue.


Merchants become your friends online...: With the explosion of social media, big businesses have found success using Facebook and Twitter to create long-standing relationships with customers. Now, it's Main Street's turn. New, affordable technologies will empower merchants to boost their brands online, allowing them to connect with customers, send personalized messages, as well as offer a more complete customer service experience overall.


...and see real ROI as a result: For small businesses, creating a company page on Facebook is no longer enough. Today, merchants want to see direct links between social media efforts and consumer spend, opening the door for a slew of social media marketing technologies tailored for small businesses. Free or low-fee social media measurement tools and specialized marketing platforms help merchants track clicks and redemptions, see word of mouth buzz build and capture customer-to-friend referrals.


Greater focus on the Baby Boomers: Research shows that seniors are savvier than ever when it comes to technology—42 percent are on social media (Pew), and almost 15 percent use smartphones (Nielsen). With this in mind, many small businesses will shift gears, turning to marketing tools that help them better engage with Boomers on the devices and platforms they're embracing.


Flash deals give way to precise marketing: While flash deals bring new people in the door, they also lack long-term results, as redemptions are difficult to track, and promote single-use transactions. With these flash deals, merchants need to have smart retention systems in place to make sure that new customers are quickly converted to loyal customers. By using effective technology, merchants can deepen discounts to solve real business problems, such as boosting off-peak sales, winning back lapsed customers and introducing new services efficiently.


Greater personalization of rewards: To stay competitive, small businesses need to create unique and memorable experiences for their customers. And because it costs more to acquire a new customer than to market to an existing one, expect business owners to zero in on familiar faces, using customer segmentation to get the best return possible. Using digital loyalty platforms, merchants will create more personalized and valuable rewards—secret deals, exclusive promotions and more—to specific groups of their choice, such as top spenders or Facebook fans.

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About SpotOn:

SpotOn is a leading digital loyalty and marketing platform used by more than 6,000 small businesses and 1.3 million consumers nationwide. For consumers, SpotOn eliminates the need to carry multiple punch cards with a seamless digital check-in to access rewards and perks. Using SpotOn's tablet-based dashboard, merchants now have an entirely new and simple way to connect with their customers using social, mobile and email marketing. With one click, merchants can learn more about their customers by viewing typical spend and campaign redemption activity. SpotOn was founded in 2011 by serial entrepreneurs with decades of experience helping local businesses increase profits with technology solutions. SpotOn is headquartered in San Rafael, CA, with offices in Chicago, IL.

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Affect for SpotOn
Brittany Bevacqua, 212-398-9680

KEYWORDS: United States North America California


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