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To find new market opportunities and grow, study non-consumers

The key to company growth is to create more value for your customers, which means better satisfying their unmet needs. With that said, if you’re an established business that is looking for growth opportunities, look for people who are not your customers. Non-consumers, people who are  not taking advantage of the benefits your product or service delivers, represent the best opportunity for innovation.

This is what Walmart is doing with its “Pay with Cash” program. It is offering a solution for customers without debit or credit cards:

Walmart launched a novel new online payments plan on Thursday: “Pay with Cash,” or the ability to pay for goods online with actual cash in a physical store.

The idea is to allow customers to shop Walmart.com – which can have a broader selection of offerings than even the giant retailer can stock in a physical store – but allow them to pay for a purchase with cash. The new program reflects the reality that some Walmart customers who might be poor – or what Walmart calls “underbanked” or “unbanked” – may not own a debit or credit card to make an online purchase.

“Many of our customers shop paycheck to paycheck and are looking for more ways to purchase items online but don’t have the means to a credit, debit or prepaid card,” said Joel Anderson, president and chief executive of Walmart.com, in a statement. “Our new ‘Pay with Cash’ offering is designed just for them. It makes it easier for our customers to shop the way they want, where they have access to a broader product selection at Walmart.com coupled with the convenience of payment and shipping as they want.”

The “underbanked” or “unbanked” are non-consumers who are not fully benefiting from Walmart’s services. Yes, they are existing customers. But ones that are un-served and therefore, not fully satisfied.

And that is the key. To find new market opportunities and grow, study non-consumers, not current customers. But also remember, that non-consumers may also be your current customers. And just like Walmart’s “underbanked” customers, they may just be hidden in plain sight.

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