Mollie x American Express - a growth guide

August 28, 2022

Think of your business like a seed: easy to start off, tricky to grow. A flourishing plant doesn’t bloom by accident. It needs the right soil, the best position, the correct amount of water. Growing your business is just the same: give it what it needs and you’ll be amazed at how it blossoms. In this article, we’ll talk you through simple strategies for growth.

Here are the key strategies, we’ll cover:

  1. Attract customers from all over the world just by making sure your business accepts the cards in their wallets, like American Express
  2. Be global and local: make sure that everyone feels comfortable on your site and using your checkout, wherever they live
  3. Develop a growth mindset: always be open to developing and learning from your experiences and your customers
  4. Create a tech stack that works together and will grow with your business
  5. Build a community to create positive content which informs your thinking and draws attention to your brand
  6. Keep talking to your customers: they should be your greatest source of information andinspiration

Think global and local

You can attract customers all over the world just by accepting the cards in their wallets. American Express has more than 114 million cards in force, in more than 170 countries (1) - that’s a lot of potential customers. And they love to use those Cards for everything from everyday spending to luxury goods. In fact, in a 2022 American Express survey, 88% of UK American Express® Cardmembers report they agree American Express is the Card they choose to pay for all their purchases (2).

From a local lens, in the UK, American Express Cardmembers online spending has grown by 37% year-on-year (3), with Cardmembers spending 3.9x more annually and 1.2x more per transaction (4), driving higher average basket values. And what’s more, accepting American Express brings you brings you new international Cardmembers, too. In fact, 2021 saw the spend by these Cardmembers at UK online merchants grow by 20% from the previous year (5).

Of course, you want those valued international customers to feel at home when they’re in your shop, wherever they are in the world. So if you’re hoping to go international, that means making sure what’s on your site or in your shop is culturally relevant. It’s not just about a few spelling changes – from the American color to the British colour, for example. The cultural adjustment you make from country to country should be everywhere, from images to measurement units – and, of course, your checkout.

Setting up a localised checkout with the right currency, shipping options and language is simple and highly effective: as your customers feel more comfortable, your checkout conversions will increase. Want to see what this can achieve? Check out how Mollie’s localised checkout experience helped family-run business Lounge Underwear go global.

Lounge Underwear image 1

Develop a growth mindset

Why do some businesses leap forward while others stand still? Growth and fixed mindsets could be the answer. Psychologist Dr Carol Dweck originally coined the terms to describe how the way we see ourselves can affect our outcomes. She discovered that people with a fixed mindset believe their abilities can’t be changed, while those who have a growth mindset are open to developing and learning.

Mollie went further, applying this thinking to ecommerce businesses. It conducted research which found that growth mindset merchants have a wider field of view, are more active in improving their businesses and are more likely to operate in more markets. They also offer consumers more ways to pay, their cart abandonment rates are lower, and they make more money. In fact, growth mindset merchants in the UK generate 24% more e-commerce revenue than their fixed-mindset competitors.

Mollie survey about growth mindset

How do they do it? They’re open to change, learning, embracing challenges and always striving to give their businesses that vital competitive edge. Learning from their customers is a big part. For example, if you’ve ever been in a shop and wondered if the retailer accepts a certain card, you’ll know that the correct signage can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned basket. Just letting your customers know that they’re welcome to use their Card is a small change which could make a big impact. In fact, in an American Express 2022 survey 64% of UK American Express Cardmembers report they agree they tend to spend more money at retail merchants when they see signage indicating that they accept American Express (6).

These customers are highly incentive driven, too: always looking for online opportunities to use their Amex Cards, which come with generous loyalty programmes that translate into tangible rewards – such as travel vouchers or redeeming points against online purchases with SafeKey® Pay with points – at no cost to the merchant. So, make the most of American Express’ free digital signage, and make it very clear that American Express is welcome at your checkout.

Image one for American Express article

Level up your tech stack

Your startup is likely to face a host of mission-critical challenges – from supply chain to product imagery to payment partners. So, you want a tech stack which increases your capacity and allows you to focus on growth. But all too often, your stack can slow you down. For example, Mollie found that just 5% per cent of UK SMEs experience no problems with their current payment service provider (PSP) – and that more than half are frustrated by slow response times. If that’s you, it’s time to do a serious tech stack audit. Ask yourself: what apps and tools are you currently using? How well do they integrate with each other? How well do your tech partners support you? And – most importantly – can your stack grow with our business?

The best tech partners should offer all the tools you need to drive growth and support that’s always there for you when you need it (and based in the markets you operate in.) They should also seamlessly integrate with your other solutions. Mollie and Xero, for example, have teamed up to create an effortless accounting and payments system.

Create and maintain an active community

Building an online community has so many benefits: increasing brand awareness, extending your customer lifecycle, kickstarting the rollout of new products and services, sharing your expertise, and gathering customer data. But it’s a long-term growth strategy which requires the right partners. If you’re planning to build a community from scratch on social media, for example, you’ll need regularly post and share content, and actively engage. To find out more about using social media to fuel your growth, check out American Express’ online marketing tutorials.

And once you’ve got satisfied customers, you can use their community-generated content to drive your ecommerce. Ecommerce platform Magento, for example, can integrate with Feefo to automate review requests on your company’s website. This is how the UK’s biggest independent fishing tackle store, Total Fishing Tackle, uses their community to generate positive feedback and drive sales.

Total Fishing Tackle in-text 1

Keep talking to your customers

Your customers should be your greatest source of inspiration and information. They’re the ones who are out there using your product or service in the real world. And they’re the ones you rely on to let you know if something’s gone wrong – and to tell you how you could make your business better. So, don’t hide behind an anonymous email address or wait for customers to come to you. Start the conversation yourself, in person and online. And once you’ve had it – act on it.

Find out more about payments with Mollie.


Sources:

  1. Sources: (1) American Express 2021 Annual Report.
  2. Source: American Express® commissioned internet panel survey conducted in February 2022 – March 2022 based on retail purchases made in the 6 months prior to the survey. Definition of American Express® Card Members: Respondents who reported that they have an American Express® Card and that they used that card to make retail purchases in the prior 6 months. Definition of Non-Card Members: Respondents who reported they do not have an American Express Card and used Visa, MasterCard, debit cards, cash, direct transfer, or payment services to make retail purchases in the prior 6 months to the survey.
  3. Based on internal American Express proprietary data, May – November 2021
  4. American Express internal data for United Kingdom Cardmembers spending across Europe compared to GlobalData Payment Card Analytics for transactions with domestic cards at terminals in the country and outside the country, including at physical ter minals and initiated remotely, in 2021.
  5. Based on internal American Express proprietary data, May – November 2021.
  6. 6 American Express® commissioned internet panel survey conducted in February 2022 – March 2022 based on retail purchases made in the 6 months prior to the survey. Definition of American Express® Card Members: Respondents who reported that they have an American Express® Card and that they used that card to make retail purchases in the prior 6 months. Definition of Non-Card Members: Respondents who reported they do not have an American Express Card and used Visa, MasterCard, debit cards, cash, direct transfer, or payment services to make retail purchases in the prior 6 months to the survey.