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Unlocking opportunities for SME card payment solutions

Product testing

Following a recent rebranding, our client needed to develop a new comms strategy to help drive customer acquisition forwards. Research was needed to understand key features and performance differentiation of their machines vs. those of key competitors.

The Challenge

With extensive investment in tech and internal testing, our client had strong views about the actual strengths of their proposition vs their competitors’.

However, they needed an independent and detailed competitor benchmark, to validate their hypotheses, as well as to understand more specifically where they are ahead of, on par, or behind competitors, and what really makes a difference for merchants in the day-to-day running of their businesses and cash flow management.

By answering these questions, the research would enable our client to choose the most powerful marketing messages to use in conjunction with their new pricing strategy, as well as to help prioritise further proposition development.

The project needed to be completed with a speedy turnover of 4 weeks, with a challenging recruitment, aiming at users of specific competitor card payment machines.

Our approach

We recommended in-store in-person video interviews, as we felt this was the best way to capture real-life experiences.

We recruited 30 store/business owners who had both decision- making responsibility and practical customer interaction experience from a wide mix of different businesses from the hospitality, retail & personal services sectors.

A key part of the interview was conducting a series of dummy transactions (e.g. performing a refund, splitting a bill, viewing previous transactions) using the business’s current card machine followed by our client’s machine. A series of closed and open-ended questions were asked about each of the tasks along with more general questions about their needs and experience overall.

The outcome

These research findings provided a clear picture of what’s important to merchants, and what’s most challenging, when processing different types of transactions and when carrying out financial reporting.

Task timing and KPIs helped create a like-for-like comparison between our client’s product performance vs key competitors.

Video output helped truly bring factual results and the customer to life.

This created the foundation for marketing content creation and message prioritisation to support the new pricing strategy.

Additionally, it provided valuable information to the product development team to support future product enhancement needs.