The Importance Of Offering Customers Options

Options Green Road Sign Against CloudsSome people would argue that giving customers too many options will only hurt sales. There’s the thought that the more options you provide your customers, the harder it is for them to make decisions on what they wish to purchase. On Rejoiner.com, Mike Arsenault refers to this concept as “decision fatigue”. “As customers are presented with more and more options, they have more and more trouble deciding what to buy,” he writes.

But there is also the thought that the more options that customers have, the more comfortable they feel with their buying choices. With this alternative perspective, it is believed that customers prefer not to be given ultimatums. Instead, they enjoy the feeling of being in control of their buying decisions. “Allowing your customer to choose between two options will allow you to increase your sales by allowing your customer to feel like they’re in control,” writes Mark Hunter on TheSalesHunter.com.

So which of these two perspectives is more reliable? How many options should business owners be offering their clientele? At Canadian POS Corporation, we side with the “more options, the better” line of thinking. That isn’t to say that we believe in inundating your customers with an overload of choices. There is strength to the argument that sometimes, it can be too much. After all, the “less is more” concept has often worked wonders.

But when it comes to payment options, we certainly believe that no customer should be forced in a direction that they are uncomfortable with. Canadian shoppers have proven that they definitely prefer to be given options when it comes to paying for their purchases. For this reason, cash-only businesses are slowly, but surely becoming things of the past. All across Canada, shoppers have shown that they don’t wish to be relegated to only one payment choice.

Michelle Dunn echoes these sentiments on Entrepreneur.com. “It’s just good business to offer your customers options for making payments,” she writes, “These options can include payment plans, using credit or debit card, online payments, checks, cash, money orders, cashiers checks, automatic withdrawals or western.” To Hunter’s point, providing options helps for customers to feel that they aren’t being forced into anything. The control is theirs.

He goes on to write that the same approach should be used when attempting to increase sales. One must be careful not to come off as if he or she is forcing products on a potential buyer. “Many times customers will hesitate to buy something, even if it’s what they’re looking for, if they feel the salesperson is pressuring them,” writes Hunter, “One way to engage your customer in the closing process and allow them to feel they’re in control is by asking them a question as part of your close.”

Asking questions of your customer during the checkout process will also help to endear them to your brand. For example, “how would you like to pay?” is an ideal way to inform your customer that he or she has the option of going with whatever payment option he or she prefers. In fact, this very interaction was communicated in one of Interac’s most recent commercials. “How would you like to pay?” asks the cashier. “Interac” responds the customer.

Think about it. You enjoy having options too, don’t you? Imagine visiting a restaurant only to find out that they serve just one dish. Options are what customers want. It’s important for you to offer the options that will make them happy. When it comes to paying for purchases, Canadian shoppers want the choice to pay with either credit cards or debit cards in addition to cash. Are you accepting credit and debit as payment options?

We have you covered! Call Canadian POS Corporation at 1-877-748-2884 to get set up with a new top-quality POS machine, or to upgrade from your current payment provider today!