When a cashier swipes a customer’s credit card at a mobile point of sale terminal, he’s doing more than just processing a financial transaction. He’s transmitting data about who that customer is, what he’s buying, and when he’s buying it. Although this data has traditionally been closely guarded by legacy POS vendors, an increasing number of providers are opening up their doors and giving merchants a peek inside—using the data they gather through customer transactions to fuel integrated marketing programs for merchants.
By tying payment processing and marketing programs together, mobile POS companies are able to take advantage of the data they already have available and provided an added-value to small business clients. Here are five vendors that offer combined mobile payment and marketing solutions.
1. Vend: Collect customer contact data through your POS
Vend works with standard POS hardware, along with iPads, Macs, and PCs, which means businesses are able to utilize the ePOS platform without having to purchase any new devices. SMBs can accept credit and debit card payments with Vend’s integrated merchant partners (which include Authorize.net and Paypal). In addition to its payment processing capabilities, Vend can be used for managing inventory and tracking customer purchase histories. Merchants can build contact lists for email their marketing efforts and reward their best customers by creating an integrated loyalty program. Vend offers multiple pricing plans, ranging from free to $169 per month (when billed annually).
2. Revel Systems: Engage customers with an in-house rewards program.
Revel is a mobile POS vendor that offers individualized software packages built for businesses in more than a dozen industries. Business owners can seamlessly switch from online to offline payment processing, and they can manage multiple locations with a single account. Revel has developed an integrated in-house loyalty program to help SMBs incentivize repeat visits and engage customers. Swiping a plastic loyalty card or entering a unique 10-digit number allows merchants to track points. The rewards that customer earn can be managed from within Revel’s management console. Businesses can contact Revel directly for pricing information.
3. Leaf: Create targeted promotions based on real-time product performance.
Restaurants, retailers, and service-industry businesses (like salons and dry cleaners) can process payments and manage inventory with Leaf’s ePOS system. The company provides clients with customized Android tablets called LeafPresenters. These tablets have integrated card swipers, and they can be used to manage both transactions and menus. Leaf is agnostic to payments; merchants can integrate with alternative payment options like LevelUp and Paypal, and they can select their own credit card processors. Using Leaf’s analytics tools, merchants can see which products are performing the best and worst during any given time period. They can use this information to make real-time updates to their menus. Leaf charges $250 for the LeafPresenter and $50 per month to use its platform.
4. ShopKeep: Send marketing emails to existing customers.
ShopKeep offers a tablet POS system that SMBs can use to ring up sales via credit card, cash, PayPal, or LevelUp. Businesses can continue processing transactions if their Internet goes down, and they can tie ShopKeep to their inventory management and employee management systems. When customers opt to receive their receipts by email, ShopKeep saves the information—along with other customer history data like name and favorite items. Businesses can then use this information to send targeted marketing emails with information about upcoming events and special deals. ShopKeep charges $49 per month for businesses with one register.
5. Square: Quickly onboard customers to your loyalty program.
Square’s white card readers have become synonymous with mobile payments. Merchants can get their card readers for free, or they can purchase the Square Stand to turn their iPad into a POS, for $299. Merchants can reward their most frequent customers through Square’s loyalty program. The system lets SMBs create digital punch cards that can ultimately be redeemed for whatever prizes a business selects. Square’s platform tracks sales data in real-time and provides users with daily sales summaries. Businesses that use Square have the option to pay $275 per month, with a 0% swipe fee, or $0 per month, with a 2.75% swipe fee.
Know of other mobile payment platforms with integrated marketing solutions? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.