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Local businesses adopt new technologies

In order for small businesses to stay afloat in today’s economy and remain ahead of competition, establishments must evolve to adopt modern technologies. More than ever, businesses are focusing on satisfying customer’s needs to maintain steady foot traffic, with a popular request being faster, easier checkout methods. The most popular example of this is smartphone payment methods, now used on a large scale. According to nfib.com, between the years 2010 and 2015, the usage of mobile payment is expected to grow 68 percent. Acceptance of smartphone payment comes in the form of bills sent straight to wireless carriers and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies, which enable a phone to pay by waving or taping against a wireless reader.
On a local scale, Wayne businesses have also begun to modernize their sales strategies. The Gryphon Café on W. Lancaster Avenue has adopted a checkout technique that uses an iPad to swipe credit cards. “The cash register was probably from 1970 when I got here,” says Jared, a Gryphon employee. He states that switching to the iPad checkout system has even increased the café’s revenue. Payment techniques have also been modified over the years with a smartphone app called the Square Wallet. With it, customers can make purchases via their phone, saving time digging through wallets for cash or a physical card.
Even more recently as an answer to customer suggestions, the Gryphon has adopted gift tokens, which are available in $5 increments. “We’ve started using the tokens primarily because we switched to Square,” says Jared. While the Square Wallet app is convenient for checkout purposes, the system lacks an in-store gift card-buying system, forcing customers to have to purchase universal Square Wallet gift cards online. “It was troublesome that we didn’t have them at the counter,” says Jared. Now though, wooden gift tokens are available for purchase and are used exactly like money, meaning that if an order is less than $5, the customer will receive the remainder back in cash. Harkening to a simpler time, “it’s cute, it’s branded, it’s not high-tech,” says Jared. “We’ve had them for about 2 weeks now and people seem to like it.”
So Fun! Frozen Yogurt, which is also in Wayne, has also adopted a new customer-pleasing technology called the Woblet. The Woblet is a card-swiping system that offers between 5-15% off of every purchase. The device can be used with either a physical card or a smartphone containing the Woblet app. Upon checkout, customers slip either a phone or card into the device located on the counter, which scans a QR code. The device will shuffle between 5-15% to decide on a discount for the purchase. Deals and rewards are also a part of the system and can be redeemed at woblet.com.
With technology constantly advancing, local businesses are finding ways to maintain and even increase business by modernizing their stores and listening to their customer’s needs.

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