Take the Fear Out of Finance

Michael Bevan, CEO at consumer finance specialist Duologi, explains how you can help your customers to

get their homes ready for the new year without dressing down their finances.

The top home décor trends for 2020 are already filtering through to the consumer, with minimalistic designs and eco-friendly materials climbing up the ranks. However, although 2020’s trends are now here, consumers’ money isn’t necessarily available just yet.

Twinned with the festive period being one of the highest points of the year for consumer expenditure, there’s an increased likelihood that customers will want to buy now and pay later. Home improvements, such as flooring, can also have a long lead time for installation as fitters are busy completing jobs before the year end. Being able to pay now, as a consumer, allows them to jump the queue and get their home ready for the new year, now.

A big price tag has the potential to put off a lot of shoppers as they can’t afford payment upfront. Our research uncovered that 34% of shoppers would be more likely to buy from a retailer offering point of sale (POS) finance options, such as an interest-free loan. This presents an opportunity for flooring retailers and installers to offer customers an easy and affordable way to pay for these products.

So, what are the two main ways flooring providers can change their fortunes around and ensure a busy new year, increasing the number of purchases?

Make the Most of Mobile

An ever-increasing amount of purchases are being made on mobile devices and, therefore, businesses that want to increase the number of mobile sales must improve the mobile customer user experience (UX). That means having a mobile- friendly website or app, where customers can easily search between styles, shapes and sizes and make purchases, will give them more time to focus on what is important - getting their project started.

Mobile-ready websites make it easier for customers to make payments on the go without having to reach for their wallets. Customers expect nothing less than being able to pay this way, and need little prompt on how to navigate their way

18 | Tomorrow’s Retail Floors

through the checkout process. This process is made even simpler when regular customers’ payment details are saved or when the site is compatible with payment providers like PayPal or Apple Pay.

A challenge many home improvement retailers often face lies in communicating the various payment options throughout the digital journey. If customers are unaware that they can opt for finance at the start of their decision-making then they may discard significant purchases which are they deem out of their price range. One way to increase the visibility of payment options is to include them on the homepage and then seamlessly through the online process, giving examples of monthly instalment prices next to the full prices of a product. This allows the customer to calculate whether or not the payments would be feasible before reaching the checkout.

Make the Price Right

Some homeowners will be hesitant to invest if they see a hefty price tag. Although they have been pondering the purchase for a while, consumer uncertainty continues and showing that the purchase isn’t as significant as first thought can increase the likelihood of purchase.

Many consumers may also be sceptical about the ease of accessing finance, assuming there will be long forms and lots of different background checks, often from a third party. However, this needn’t be the case. Offering a simple process to apply for finance can make all the difference when converting customers who would otherwise be priced out of the market, and forced to think twice.

Businesses can use a range of finance options in a matter of hours using consumer finance providers such as Duologi, which makes offering these services to customers easy. Suppliers will know that each customer’s project is unique, so ensuring options are tailored to each person and their financial circumstances is important. The strain of making these decisions can be daunting, but partnering with a dedicated credit team as part of the finance service means service providers and businesses can reach decisions quickly and securely – giving the industry peace of mind whilst maximising its bottom line.

Interior aspirations need not to be beyond the reach of many consumers. Customer finance is no longer a silver lining provided by large retailers, it is accessible to all retailers and SMEs.

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