The grocery vertical market affords the agent an opportunity to sell to high volume accounts that show an above average tendency NOT to switch from processor to processor. This tendency not to switch is typically associated with the degree of difficulty and potential challenges that arise with the systems used by the merchant to process payments. There are two general categories to consider:
- Groceries that process payment volumes over $250K per month, also referred to as supermarket merchants. Many times, these merchants may qualify for special interchange fees as long as they can demonstrate specific liabilities and ratios of perishable products. Most businesses in this range are multi-store chains and may have locations across the U.S. Brand consistency and a multiplicity of services is common ranging from gift and loyalty programs and check guarantee services are almost mandatory.
- Groceries that process payment volumes under $250K per month, also referred to as grocery stores, may also qualify for special interchange fees as they too can demonstrate specific liabilities and ratios of perishable products. Most businesses in this range are single store locations and are many times seen as a ‘local alternative’ to the larger stores. To gain traction an agent should focus on differentiation and service quality, as many of these business owners value niche products within their business model such as a focus on organic products to attract specialist customers.
Some relationships may be very large, with strong ties to the processor that was introduced by their bank. The processing volumes are often significant as well, with these businesses receiving many unrequested sales outreaches, and as such, the gatekeepers are among the most effective at screening sales attempts.
A unique opportunity when servicing businesses in this vertical market is for you to become a member of any association that provides credibility as well as a listing of other opportunities across your servicing area.
Do not invest significant time or energy on the larger national accounts unless you have an advantage that will bring you to the top decision makers. There are literally thousands of opportunities within this vertical market, with many relationships existing between the single business and mega-merchant locations.