Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been especially badly affected by the events of 2020, making the new release by business management app vcita particularly timely. Announced last week, Packages is a service that enables SMBs to better highlight, bundle, and sell their services while increasing customer retention.
Helping the Appointment Industry Bounce Back
Particularly apposite for those in the ‘appointments’ trade – beauty salons, personal trainers, tutors, freelance make-up artists, yoga instructors – Packages is a portal designed to help SMBs bounce back from the difficulties of recent months and future-proof their income. Created to compel consumers to take advantage of cost-effective service bundles, Packages essentially help turn a one-and-done customer into a regular committed to returning over a fixed or variable period of time.
Founded in 2010 by Itzik Levy and Eran Utmazgin, and with offices in Seattle, Washington, and Tel Aviv, vcita is best known for its all-in-one business management and client engagement app, which comprises scheduling software, billing and invoicing, client management, marketing, and a client-side portal. The company has driven over 18 million client engagements in its ten-year lifespan, with almost a million businesses using the app in dozens of countries. It’s also sealed partnerships with the likes of Google and Stripe.
The Packages feature augments the aforementioned tools by simplifying the creation of custom-made bundles complete with descriptions, prices, and images. An enticing package can be created in minutes and then promoted across the SMB’s marketing channels, with the ability to push out discounted packages during quiet spells and set an expiration date on each package.
Rather than waiting for bookings to be made in the future, or fretting about no-shows and missed payments, Packages can be billed straightaway, creating a valuable revenue stream for SMBs that need liquidity. The service is currently available as a 14-day free trial.
“We see this opportunity as extremely beneficial for both the business and the customer,” says vcita CEO Itzik Levi. “Now more than ever, SMBs are looking for ways to future-proof their projected income. Selling packages gives them the peace of mind they need and provides them with funds they can invest back into their business.”
SMBs Require All the Help They Can Get
Stay-at-home orders, enforced closures, disruption in the supply chain: the fallout of Covid-19 has been devastating for businesses large and small, but while many conglomerates can make up a shortfall by selling online, that’s not always an option for small companies. Thankfully, businesses are emerging from the darkness and consumer confidence is slowly returning.
Support for small and medium-sized businesses has come from many sources during 2020. Back in March, in the midst of the crisis, Google announced that it was pledging $340 million in Google Ads credits for SMBs as part of an overall commitment that topped $800 million. Facebook also ring-fenced $100 million in grants for 30,000 companies in 30 countries. This in addition to numerous financial assistance measures introduced by governments around the world.
While fiscal support is bound to be a major part of the recovery, businesses must do all that they can to build meaningful, sustainable relationships with their customers, and providing customers with more value is something that never goes out of fashion.
Thus, for example, a hair salon might create a package that commits a client to returning every two months, with the proviso that their third appointment is essentially free. By incentivizing repeat business in this way, SMBs create a stronger business model and increase the likelihood of generating word-of-mouth custom.