Have you had your customer stand in front of you, card in hand, and not allowed them to buy?

There’s an annual art festival in my neighborhood. It has gotten huge over the years.

Folks from around North Texas flock to a closed off thoroughfare and peruse art, listen to live music, eat food from trucks, and sip on wine in the streets.

We took our little family out there, as we like to do, yesterday. It really was a blast. My daughter of 19 months downed an entire gyro and danced.

I noticed some troubling things about vendors, though.

One of the fundamental things that this event is.. is an art show. Vendors sign up to come to things like this to show their art. Many come from very far away in the hopes that some of that art will be purchased.

They spend time putting together elaborate displays, and spend many hours in the hot sun engaging with customers.

But… it seemed about half of these folks forgot to think about how buyers buy.

We should all look at the following as a case study and reflect on whether or not we are adding any unnecessary friction to our own customer’s buying process.

If you have a price tag of $300+ on your artwork, and you are cash only… you might have a disconnect with reality. Who carries that much cash?

“Check” is not always a great second option. When I put together my camelback, sunscreen, keys, extra bottled water, and diaper bag for the arts festival…. checkbook is not typically a part of that essentials checklist.

I should really remove the 300+ qualifier. I don’t carry that much cash these days. It’s pretty much a card only society at this point. Food truck vendors know this. They all have those little phone credit card swipers and are ready to trade you a swipe for as many tacos (or vegan meat patties? i saw a truck for this. count me out.) as you can handle.

With all the effort that the art vendors and artists put into the production of showing up, they should really look into the free option of ordering a reader from somewhere like Square. These kind of processors take a fixed percentage of each sale and no monthly fee. They even send you a free little swiper to plug into your phone.

[caption id=“attachment_237” align=“aligncenter” width=“700”]I'm not stumping for Square here. Just showing how easy it is. Lot's of similar options. I’m not stumping for Square here. Just showing how easy it is. There are many similar options.[/caption]

I’ve heard some objections to this in other environments about the percentage. I usually use 3% as a rule when thinking about this variable cost of doing business.

It’s a question you should ask yourself: Is 97% of something better than 100% of nothing? What hassle are you trying to save yourself that making it harder on your customer? Should you accept a burden to enable the sale?

I did see another issue with some of the artists I’ll talk about in another post. Engagement. I’ll link that here when it’s posted.