Four Ways We Win When Competition Thrives
No matter what type of business you’re in—one thing’s for sure—competition has made it better. Competition forces us to constantly innovate and evolve—which our customers demand. If we don’t welcome competition, we’ll be disrupted, if not destroyed by it. Just ask cab companies in the new era of Uber and Lyft. Or hotels and the rental housing market with the advent of Airbnb.
I started Segpay in a field of more established players with better platforms in payment processing. But we saw an opening—and an area where we thought we could compete. Only one high-risk payment processer was offering solution services to businesses in the EU. This opened the door for Segpay to set up shop and start to effectively compete. We were able to present a different solution to the market and by being the underdog, we were able to offer better, more responsive customer service. Today by having multiple payment processors in the adult space, it allows webmasters to have options to choose from and decide which performs best. Competition in our industry has forced all payment processors to provide innovative solutions, backed by solid customer service—which has led to lower fees, better conversion rates and enhanced fraud mitigation tools.
How can you improve your competitive edge? We’ve gathered the top four ways to win when competition thrives.
Innovation is really important in business; it is the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value a customer will pay for. I came to this industry in 2005 from the telecommunications space. I worked at MCI where our sole mission was to break up the AT&T monopoly on U.S. Telecommunications. That singular focus led to dramatic breakthroughs in communications. For example, MCI invented e-mail and was a pioneer in internet services. Those innovations led to choices and freedom for users of telecom services.
In the payments industry, innovation has led to many enhanced services and choices for consumers. A few examples are things like cross selling where we can sell additional products or services to existing customers, exit consoles to keep customers from leaving, and customer retention which helps reduce churn in recurring and subscription models to extend the lifetime value of a customer.
As competition heats up, innovating and getting creative are a sure way to keep gaining market share and drive revenue.
More Options Improves Customer Service
For those of us at MCI, it was obvious more options were needed for consumers. While it seems like the dark ages now, it used to be businesses like 1-800-FLOWERS could not “port” their vanity numbers away from AT&T. Essentially, AT&T had the numbers locked up- controlling pricing and services leaving consumers stuck. What if Kim Kardashian, Stormy Daniels or even Abagail Mac had to give up their social media handles just because they switched cell phone or internet providers? People would go nuts! At MCI we spent 20+ years working to get licenses and the right to compete, enabling 800 portability. Once portability hit the marketplace, AT&T was forced to engage. They could no longer gouge on pricing; they had to offer better options and provide a good level of customer service to keep customers. The AT&T breakup lead to other players in the space like Sprint, WorldCom, Verizon and Comcast—which led to lower prices and better products and services.
Much like what we saw in telecommunications, commoditization is becoming an issue in other industries. At Segpay we believe it’s important to differentiate yourself. We have always looked to the relationships we build and the service we provide as our competitive advantage. When all other factors become a level playing field, service levels usually end up the differentiator for deciding who to do business with.
Solving Pain Points
Competition makes us look at customers pain points and develop solutions. The U.S. is the world’s premiere free market economy depending on capitalism to thrive. In our economic system, prices are decided by unrestricted competition between privately held companies. This competition brings choices. With them, merchants don’t feel like their being held hostage. Competition forces traditional monopolies to improve their fair practices for example, eliminating things like mandatory contractual requirements. As Segpay enters its 15th year in business, I’m pleased to announce that’ll we’ll once again be shaking up our industry—by integrating new payment solutions and acquiring options. This competitive move will break a strangle-hold that others have used to discourage their clients from using alternative payment processing solutions.
Having a true understanding of your client’s pain points and what is disrupting their business is critical in a competitive marketplace. Being able to provide meaningful solutions to those problems is what will make your organization thrive.
Competition exists well outside of payments. We have seen more hosting companies come and go as they are required to offer more competitive services and provide value to the space. The emergence of multiple CAM platforms offers models a variety of options. Competition requires each provider to offer great payout rates, training services and state of the art back ends to manage their business. We’ve seen growth of clip and fan platforms too. Each new player to the space offers something different for their consumer base as well as the models that use their platform. It stretches to the affiliate world too. Website affiliate or cash programs are required to present transparency, good payouts and a clean back end so affiliates are assured and comfortable that they will earn their commissions.
Segpay has and will always be a champion of competition. We encourage you to do the same—as everyone wins when we all compete. If you have questions about integrating new payment solutions and acquiring options into your business, please reach out to us at [email protected]. We’re here to help!