For years now the world has been changing the way that it does business. Covid-19, for all the bad that it brought to us, has further encouraged businesses to step outside the box and try new things. Businesses that wanted to survive the pandemic had to find new ways to keep customers safe and happy.
Some of the newest business trends became contactless service and online shopping, both of which practically eliminated our desire to carry or use physical cash. The biggest drawback for businesses was the “tip”, which was mostly a cash-only option. This too is changing with the widespread availability of digital tipping and its reach extends across multiple industries.
What you may not realize is that digital tipping is beneficial in more ways than one. In this article, we will take a long look at why digital tipping is the wave of the future and how it can benefit your business in today’s world and beyond.
What is Digital Tipping? How Is It Different?
First, we will start with the basics: a look at digital tipping and why it is quickly becoming the preferred way of doing business. In its simplest form, tipping in the digital world allows your customers to pay easily, and without cash, using a QR code.
For many, it is a step above credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payments because most smartphones have a QR scanner built-in. No other apps are needed. Your customers simply scan the code, tap to pay, tip, and go, without ever having physical contact with your employees.
Customers enjoy the convenience as well. It makes checking out and tipping faster because they do not have to wait on your employees to come back to them. In the foodservice industry, you get your ticket, scan the code, pay the amount you owe, and leave when you are ready. In other industries, and for other reasons, people are quickly adapting to the change in how we pay for the things we need.
Industries Already Enjoying the Convenience of Digital Tipping
The pandemic came out of nowhere and took everyone by surprise. Businesses were not ready for it, and neither were their clients. Some industries quickly adjusted by turning to digital options to keep everyone safer. Just look at all they have done.
- Restaurants: The restaurant industry took a huge hit with the onset of Covid-19. However, as things began opening back up, the desire for safe food services was the priority. Some ditched traditional menus for QR codes that would link to their website, and tabletop card scanners for easy payments. They also began providing guests with the ability to pay digitally through their phones. Tips, which were still mostly cash tossed on the table, were the slowest to catch up, but once the option hit the mainstream, they were quick to climb on board.
- Bars: Bar owners were also hit hard in the pocket with the pandemic. Many were shut down for an extended time because when customers have a little to drink, they stop behaving in a “safe” way. Upon returning to business, the safety of everyone was a top priority. Social distancing was encouraged. The easiest way to tackle it was to turn to digital options.
- Salons: Salon employees work closely with clients throughout the entire visit. Therefore, face masks are always required for clients and employees. This industry is also among those leaning toward digital payments and tipping. By lessening the physical contact with cash, both staff and client can breathe a little easier.
- Hotels: When traveling, most people prefer to leave the cash at home. They prefer electronic payment options. This can negatively impact their ability to leave a tip for the hotel staff. It is disheartening for employees and the hotel guest may feel bad about it as well. By implementing QR code tipping, everyone is back on the same page, and it is business as usual, only safer!
- Tour Guides: These individuals faced the same problems as hotel staff. People would leave their cash at home, and then be unable to tip or to tip safely. Digital tipping puts money back into the pockets of good tour guides.
- Valet Drivers: Remember when the valet driver would return your car, and you would pass him a little cash for his effort? Those days faded with Covid-19, until now. Now, if you want to thank the driver for taking good care of your vehicle, you can do so without cash in hand.
Benefits of the Digital Tip Concept for Businesses
The result of going digital has already proven to be beneficial to employees and visitors within every industry. There are some specific apps that allow digital tipping, thank you notes, and more. If you are curious about the specific benefits, here are a few of the reasons digital tipping is quickly becoming preferred.
- Convenience: Guests or clients like convenience. When the Starbucks app came out and allowed clients to pay, tip, and “cheer”, clients loved it! We have come accustomed to social distancing and ordering online with our credit cards to remain touch-free. Now, it just makes sense to fine-tune this digital ability and make it usable for all industries.
- Time-Saving: Employees in every industry are delighted with digital tips as well. Digital tips can be added to paychecks or pay cards so that they receive the payment quickly. Since it is digital and added instantly to their “wallet”, it also lessens the tip spent counting out the tip jar at the end of a shift or dividing funds. It is all done automatically. Clients also enjoy the speed of it. They no longer have to wait for a chance to leave tips or wait around on cashback.
- Safe: Perhaps the biggest reason most people love going digital is the increase in safety. Cash has always been filled with germs. Covid-19 has brought that more to the forefront of our minds. Now, you don’t have to pull out your wallet and worry about sanitizing your hands because you touched that dollar bill or handed it off to a stranger.
- Higher Tips: For employees everywhere, there does seem to be an increase in tip amounts by going digital. In food services, there typically seems to be an increase in tip amounts. Perhaps it is to show appreciation for allowing digital tips, or maybe it is because they don’t actually hand over the cash.
What You Stand to Lose by Not Choosing Digital Tipping
Digital tipping is not a new concept, but it is going more mainstream and reaching into virtually every part of our lives. Other industries have tried going digital with some success. For instance, the Twitter Tip Jar links social profiles with payment platforms. This allows us to show appreciation for those who provide insight that is relevant to us.
At one time, Uber didn’t offer digital tipping, even though there was a large demand for it. In 2017, everything changed as a part of their promised “180 Days of Change“. This was designed to help Uber drivers earn more money.
The risk of not giving digital tipping a try is that it could cost you customers and income. With so much of the world afraid of catching the virus, you have to provide safe options, or you could watch your customers walk the other way. It is also possible that you will lose your employees if tips don’t come their way because customers leave their cash at home.
The key to having a successful digital tipping ability is going to depend on the company you choose to provide your tipping service. If you are ready to consider going digital and secure the future of your business, you can contact us for information about how youtip can change the way you do business, for the better!