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October 18, 2013 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Cindy Unger, WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz business adviser
“Have you ever heard of Swipely? Exactly how does that service work for small businesses?” Tisha, Mills
There are dozens of credit card processors available, but Swipely’s selling point is to help merchants better understand their customers.
In addition to the credit card number and amount, the company collects and analyzes data about each transaction, strips out any personally identifying information, and then groups the data into customer dashboards that track daily and weekly sales. The system even shows how a particular rainy day affected profits.
In addition, the program syncs with merchant social accounts in order to see how campaigns on Facebook or reviews on Yelp affect business. By combining credit card acceptance with analytics and marketing tools, merchants can essentially convert credit card acceptance fees into marketing investments.
For a business to obtain all of these additional analytics, Swipely offers to match current payments for credit card processing. The analytics, marketing tools, customer insights and loyalty reward programs come at no cost.
Swipely software works with most Point of Sale (POS) systems, and processes most credit cards. Information on each swiped card goes into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database. The data will show the business owner which card users are new versus repeat, which are top spenders, and when they typically visit.
The loyalty marketing tools helps small businesses sponsor programs similar to those sponsored by major national retailers. To encourage customers wary of providing personal information to a new service provider, Swipely provides merchants with a “marketing manager” that allows business owners to upload company customer email lists and send invitations to join the new loyalty program.
Traditional loyalty programs require significant effort, and Swipely eliminates it by automatically tracking customer expenditures and dispensing cash rewards.
If a company grosses more than $30,000 in credit card sales per month, and tends to have frequent repeat customers, as well as a social network following, then Swipely may be a good partner.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.
The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.