Mobile Payments as a Search Strategy

Phones are becoming a powerful tool for local marketers who wish to drive more customers to their local business clients. Today, the top places to optimize a local business can be listed in the following order:

  1. Voice Assistant Results
  2. Google Local Services
  3. Google Advertising
  4. Facebook/Social Advertising
  5. Local Map Listings
  6. Directory Results
  7. Organic Search

There is another channel that may not be receiving the attention it deserves — mobile payment optimization. Along with the competition to get search eyeballs, there is also competition in mobile payments — Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Chase Pay, just to name a few.

There are two ways to optimize for payment services:

  1. Participation — Encouraging the local business to accept one or more of these payment methods. Consumers are getting very familiar with paying using their smartwatches or phones and may prefer to use these rather than paying with their physical credit card or cash. Adding signs in the store location, website and other online directories can get you additional attributes for the business’s web presence, plus a listing in the payment system’s directory of businesses that accept that payment nearby. It can also increase brand recall as the payment app has the ability to notify the consumer when they come close to your business and mention their previous visit. Notifications about the payment or reminders are additional ways to stay top of mind.
  2. Offers — Using the consumers location or their buying habits, these payment systems can surface the local business with any offers. As a consumer, I have chosen to go to a restaurant that had an offer actually changing my original plans and definitely think others may do this as well, depending on the offer. Once again, as a marketer, the payment app does all the work and your part is to add your offer to the payment system.

Using the Google Pay API marketers can have their loyalty cards, offers, coupons and tickets saved into Google Pay app on the consumers’ phone and also send reminders, updates and messages to the customer’s phone. I experienced this recently when I purchased tickets to Avengers: Endgame at the nearby ArcLight Theatre using Google Pay. I got reminders and also saved the tickets to my Google Pay app. I would recommend that marketers explore the offers option in the payment system they use and the entry to tools that help consumers decide on their business.

I would love to learn from the community if they have clients that are using the local payment optimization strategy, or have other ideas to use this strategy.

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