Within the last decade, advances in technology have developed at a rapid rate. From business automation and the rise of aggregator business models in the rental market to the use of AI in healthcare and the boom of blockchain technology (and its introduction of NFTs), it's clear that things won't be slowing down anytime soon.
Business leaders don't need to be convinced that they're wise to invest in new technology solutions (such as accounting and order management automation) — they already know this. And it is no longer about the pandemic and short-term economic turmoil, either. They have no choice amid competition, labor shortages and the general need to increase efficiency and do more with less. The difficulty is that such digital transformation has traditionally been lengthy, massive projects that span years and budgets — and while some succeed, others fail to meet their objectives. Yet the time, money and human capital have already been spent.
The Future of Fintech: "Try Before You Buy"
Enter the new realm of sample-size tech — a "try before you buy" fintech solution that has business leaders excited. While already popular in the fashion retail space, it's also steadily moving into other areas of e-commerce. It has the potential to revolutionize the customer experience and keep businesses ahead of the technological curve.
The reason why this model is so effective is simple: people like to feel that they have some measure of control in the choices they make. If this is true when it comes to the clothing people purchase, it is especially true when they must choose something as dynamic as a new technology for their business.
How Sample-Size Fintech Benefits Customers
Tech is still brand-new territory. People are anxious and uncertain about which solutions will make the most sense for their company. Sample-size fintech solutions tap into this psychology and alleviate the cognitive dissonance of a financially weighty decision around an unknown product.
Allowing customers to try a fintech solution before making a total commitment grants them a sense of mastery and ownership, which gives rise to a sense of trust toward the tool's vendor. It also gives the customer time to form an initial perception of a product's value, influencing how they evaluate its price later. This phenomenon can result in a greater likelihood of keeping the product, as consumers perceive its value to be higher than the price they paid.
When the vendor of a technology tool proves themselves (and the CFO has concrete, measurable benefits to report), a company can decide to reject (or try something else, with limited time and money invested), continue with the solution or grow into a fully transformed solution.
Eliminating upfront charges allows consumers to bridge the gap between convenience and the desire for an authentic exploration of products that will enable them to feel informed and empowered upon making a purchase.
How Sample-Size Fintech Benefits Companies
Fintech companies who choose to implement a try-before-you-buy model as part of their sales process stand to make considerable gains by doing so. Conversion rates increase as customers see their purchases as risk-free, and the likelihood of additional purchases grows as customers feel unrestricted by their budget during the exploratory phase.
Additionally, regular customers who usually aren't adventurous with tech can buy similar things and start to experiment with new tools at their own speed, which further bolsters loyalty and can lead to referrals. In fact, studies have shown that customers are nearly 90% more likely to purchase a product if it's been recommended by a friend or family member.
How to Get Started
Companies who offer their fintech solutions via trial runs and sample-size contracts automatically differentiate themselves from their competitors. Here are a few tips on how to successfully implement this sales model as part of your strategy.
- Research and attract new markets. Many people feel overwhelmed at the prospect of digitizing their company. Finding ways to appeal to technologically lagging industries can encourage an influx of new customers who would otherwise remain behind the curve. Offering trial periods or retrofit tech stacks is an excellent way to make these new customers comfortable experimenting with new tools and systems.
- Centralize data to increase efficiency and prevent errors. To ensure a perfect purchase flow with customers, it's essential to centralize data and inventory into a "single source of truth" so that internal teams can handle all aspects of various sales models efficiently.
- Determine try-before-you-buy offering structure and payment information system. Determining the nature and length of the trial on offer is vital in ensuring that the sample-size sales method benefits fintech companies in the long run. Short trials work best across businesses and can lower customer acquisition costs due to reducing sales cycles. It's also impactful to find ways to design tech offerings that create some dependency in users, such that discontinuing use poses more of an inconvenience than going ahead and making a purchase (Dropbox and other file-centric platforms are good examples of this).
As technology evolves, now is the perfect time to build and create within fintech. Companies in the space are uniquely positioned to help users bridge the gap between inexperience and necessary evolution, all while encouraging trust-based relationships and providing a next-level customer service experience. The "pay before you play" model offers a mutually beneficial configuration that makes fintech solutions more approachable to a broader range of users and automatically differentiates the companies who implement this approach as early adopters of the next big wave in fintech.