How You Can Use Credit Card Processing to Identify Consumer Trends

Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Business Start Up Advice, Credit Card Processing, POS Systems [ 0 Comments ]

Most business owners know that credit card processing fees are an unhappy side effect of offering convenience to your customers (and hopefully increasing your sales). Every time you swipe that plastic, you’re charged a small fee plus a monthly maintenance fee … and don’t forget any hidden fees your vendor might decide to tack on.

The privilege of accepting credit cards costs small businesses thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars a year. So why not make that money work for you a little?

Some credit card processing vendors are now offering valuable marketing information to clients, according to a recent article in

The Case Study

In the article, a Brooklyn, N.Y. spa owner shares her frustrations with credit card processing companies that nickel and dimed her without giving anything in return that could help grow her business. Then she was approached by Swipely, which sends clients a comprehensive marketing report each week. Now that she’s working with Swipely, the salon owner is able to track the dollar value per transaction, see who her top spenders are, and see how factors like holidays, current events and weather affect sales — all without having to run tedious and time-consuming reports on her POS system.

“In having a business for nine-and-a-half years, I have gotten a sense anecdotally of the things I’ve experienced,”  the spa owner told “What Swipely has done for me is given me analytical proof of what I thought anecdotally.”

For instance, now that she has quantitative proof that bad weather means more business and good weather means less business, she’s able to run targeted promotions and make more efficient staffing decisions.

Meaningful Data When You Need It

Some credit card processing vendors offer this transactional data on a daily basis — complete with graphs and quick stats that display sales per hour — right on your iPad.

Over time, this transaction data allows business owners to compare their performance against industry benchmarks and look for opportunities to grow revenue.

Other Value-Added Services

Other benefits you can get out of credit card processing data include the opportunity to set up customer loyalty programs and sell gift cards, which can spur marketing and increase sales. Some small business owners also offer text-marketing and/or e-mail campaigns and branded mobile apps to help bring their most loyal customers back.

Finding Your Vendor

When shopping for a vendor, don’t just look for the best rates and lowest fees; find out which one will offer you the best value for your dollar. Transaction analytics, delivered when you need it, in an easy-to-understand format. are critical to short- and long-term marketing success.

Learn more about credit card processing on

Photo courtesy of Andres Rueda on Flickr

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