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High Risk Merchant Tips on Targeting Your Market

High Risk Merchant Tips on Targeting Your Market

by Gerri Bryce


A quick lecture on target marketing. To a high risk merchant account applicant, your target market dictates the possibility of whether your merchant account application will be approved or not. Why? Because as a general rule, the more international your client base is, the higher the risk involved in your business. I'll go straight to the point. If you're an exporter or a shipper, watch out over your application. More than likely, if you have nothing solid to back it up like a good credit rating or no fraud and minimal chargeback history, your application will have a great chance of being declined.

But so much for the gloomy outlook. Targeting the market is a skill, since many merchants commit mistakes in this area. Foremost of all, targeting your market is plain and simple common sense. If you don't know "who exactly" are coming over to buy your products and services, then where will the profit come from?


TARGETING YOUR MARKET IS A TRICK

"Target marketing contrasts with mass marketing, which offers a single product to the entire market." I would say it is tricky because as far as marketing is concerned, many merchants would like to mass market and be everything and produce everything that customers want to have. In this case you would have to decide whether to attack a particular segment of the market (niche market) or the masses (mass market). And it's not always an easy job.

So what do you need to consider to make sure you're targeting a good market, whether locally or internationally? As a high risk merchant for online casinos, for example, you need to do a lot of research on the saleability of your products according to:

  • number of casino gamers

  • possible increase/decrease in the number of gamers

  • number of competing casino merchants

  • continuing interest of casino gamers

  • how far you need to go to get a good percentage of the market share

  • profit percentage and sales potential


RACE, RELIGION, CREED...

Of course let's not forget the criteria for targeting your market. Geographics is a big factor among high risk merchants. You may only want to target U.S. poker enthusiasts, or European ski resort buffs, or Christian groups. Among travel merchants, the geographics gamut is almost limitless. You may ship your products straight from China but mass market it all over the Asian, American, and European continents. The more varied your geographic base, the more you are exposed to risks.

Demographics, according to Michel Fortin, are the basic qualities and characteristics of your market. "They include age, gender, culture, employment, industry, income level, marital status, and so on." Needless to say, the more you know about your demographic base, the more you can sell to them. Online pharmaceuticals would market gender based non-prescription drugs such as Viagra and Cialis for men and breast enhancement lotions for women. Insurance companies would target elderly people who have more extra income to pay for insurance than younger people. Etcetera.

Among membership clubs and online dating sites, psychographics plays an important role. For example, high risk merchants may take advantage of the fact that members will attend the same meetings and have the same interests such as golf and mountain climbing. Men and women who join dating sites obviously have a predictable behavior: they join the site to meet potential lovers and even be involved sexually. Targeting this market can usually be leveraged into another related high risk merchant business, which is selling adult products and services.

Lastly, you can also target your market according to their exposure to technology. Among merchants that sell computer hardware and software, or sell downloadable e-books and movies online, this trend can be readily exploited. They know exactly that their customer base is likely to be technology-smart. But again, the risk of getting into this business is comparatively high.

 

 

CONCLUSION

Understanding your target market as a high risk merchant is the first step to mitigating the possibility of your application being declined. Of course your passion will always dictate what type of business you want to pursue, but considering the level of risk involved for every business of this kind, it is wise to look at what kind of customers you wish to sell your products/services to.


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