Before committing to purchasing, shoppers may have found and favourited the item online, seen it several times on social media, been in store to see it first-hand and tried it on.
Getting past the final hurdle and encouraging the sale whether it’s in-store or online is the main goal. A large number of purchase decisions are made based on money – it may be a case of having the available funds or even just justifying the purchase. Therefore, raising awareness of payment options during various stages of customer interaction is key to avoid the item being put back on the rail or abandoned in the shopping cart.
MISSING A TRICK?
Payment options don’t typically have a presence in the initial stages of a customer’s shopping journey, with many retailers choosing to highlight finance options at the final stages of the process – this applies to both online and physical retail experiences. This is great for those customers expecting different payment methods and terms before completing their purchase, but what about those who would have purchased immediately if presented with flexible payment options rather than being left red faced at the checkout at the very last stage of the shopping journey?
KEEP PAYMENT AT THE FOREFRONT
To attract more customers and encourage immediate purchase, flexible finance options need to be highlighted throughout the shopper’s journey. If customers know that they can access the products they want and spread the cost, it could increase the likelihood of a purchase on the day, boost brand loyalty and increase chances of repeat visits. Don’t just consider presenting payment options at the checkout, whether that’s in the form of physical point-of-sale displays or online digital displays.
WHERE AND HOW CAN YOU PROMOTE FINANCE OPTIONS TO CUSTOMERS?
Include flexible finance messaging on all touch points along the customer journey – this includes the website, digital newsletters, social media, leaflets and physical brochures. If applicable, dedicating space in-store at the counter, above rails and shelves or even on the wall to promote finance options is a good way to consistently and subtly reinforce the options. Consumers are familiar with larger retailers and chains offering alternative finance options but may be surprised when it comes to smaller business offering the option, so make it obvious –don’t leave it down to the shy shopper to ask at the final stages.
ILLUSTRATE WITH EXAMPLES
Ensure you give customers all of the facts surrounding how finance could work for them including a representative example, how they can apply, an overview of the process and where they can go to answer any queries. Don’t miss out the benefits of financing – highlight the low monthly cost and convince the customer who may have not considered finance before to take the step.
DON’T FORGET THE RULES
Of course, it’s important to remember to adhere to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) financial promotion rules when raising awareness of finance options to customers. This will ensure that the costs and conditions are clear, fair and not misleading.
Want to find out how you can help customers reach their goals and boost your sales? Get in touch.