Inside the Mind of a Big-Ticket Shopper
How do consumers think and behave? The answer to that question often determines the success or failure of a retail business.
Synchrony Financial’s recent Major Purchase Consumer Study reveals key opinions and behaviors about shopping, payment options and customer satisfaction that electronics retailers need to know. For instance, analysis of consumer responses reveals that retailers should be proficient in two key areas – online marketing and promotional financing. Success in both areas can give you a decided advantage in the electronics marketplace.
Of course, retailers must still cover the basics: product knowledge, a great shopping experience and excellent service. But without a good online marketing presence and an effective credit program, you may lose out on sales opportunities.
The recent Synchrony survey polled more than 5,400 retail consumers who made major purchases ($500+) in 2017. The consumers were divided according to their purchase category, one being electronics, of which there were 467 respondents. An analysis of the results provides important insight into the consumer decision process; information that can help retailers set marketing strategies that will help them thrive in today’s marketplace.
Your Digital Presence
How important is the Internet in the path to purchase? According to the Synchrony survey, 84 percent of major purchase electronics shoppers begin their search online. Think of it; eight of every 10 customers shopping for a new TV or PC likely began their search online. Now compare your store’s online experience to those of your competitors. Is your site compelling? Easy to navigate? Is it adaptable for a smart phone? – 63 percent of consumers surveyed do product and financing research on a mobile device.
Your online presence may be your first introduction to the customer. If that introduction is successful, you may greatly increase your chances of making a sale ... a sale that may occur in your store. Forty‐five percent of shoppers who visited both online and in‐store said in‐store visits had greater influence on their purchasing decision. Even if the customer prefers to buy online rather than in the store, you may have an advantage if they are on your website, so make sure you make it easy to arrange payments.
The look and functionality of your website is only one part of an effective online marketing strategy. Search engine optimization helps ensure your site is high on the list of product search queries. Social media also plays a role, as today’s shoppers often look to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for reviews and advice.
The Credit Incentive
Let’s assume your website and social media platforms are attractive, functional and communicate well. For most major purchase consumers, you’ve cleared the first hurdle. If they are interested in doing business with you, they may come to your store or make their purchase online. In either case, their next consideration typically involves financing.
Among electronics consumers, 84 percent of survey respondents accessed credit information online. That fact alone indicates the importance of promotional financing. But in‐store credit provides other important incentives, too. The Synchrony study revealed that 69 percent of major purchases shoppers use credit cards because they know their purchase is protected. Sixty‐two percent use credit to earn rewards. A whopping 88 percent of Synchrony cardholders making an electronics purchase say they like promotional financing because it makes their purchase more affordable.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of promotional financing is the impact it has on the average sale. According to the survey, Synchrony cardholders spend approximately 27 percent more than non‐cardholders. That’s a nice boost for your business.
By multiple measures, the availability of credit is a powerful tool for attracting customers, closing sales and increasing average ticket totals.
Most retail business owners will agree that repeat customers are the cornerstone of long‐term success. A loyal customer can also be your best advertising. Make customers happy and they may sell for you.
Making a sale does not guarantee that you have created a satisfied customer, but if they have your store credit card in their wallet or purse, your chances of selling to them again may be greatly increased. In the survey, Synchrony cardholders were satisfied with the quality of their purchase at a much higher rate than non‐cardholders (79‐58 percent). Cardholders were happier with their payment options than those who financed otherwise (71‐43 percent) and they were more pleased with their financing terms (68‐24 percent).
Ninety‐one percent of Synchrony cardholders were aware they can use their card for future purchases and 80% indicated they have already used their card again or would likely do so in the future. The fact that their purchase is protected and they may earn rewards only increases their level of satisfaction.
Know Your Customer
Gaining insight into consumer behavior can give you a competitive edge in today’s retail environment. The 2017 Synchrony Major Purchase Study reveals important steps along the path that shoppers take when making a buying decision. Based on the survey, most consumers begin their journey on the Internet. Many visit stores for a closer look. They value financing options and they are more likely to return to your store if they have your card.
Electronics retailers can use this insight to sharpen their marketing plan. Examine your online and social media presence. Is it as good as it can be? Promote your in‐store financing program online and in your traditional advertising. Make sure customers know promotional financing is available to encourage repeat visits to your store. With these tools in place you may earn more sales, larger sales and more repeat business.
A legacy of helping people and businesses realize their ambitions.
Synchrony (NYSE: SYF) is a premier consumer financial services company delivering customized financing programs across key industries including retail, health, auto, travel and home, along with award-winning consumer banking products. With more than $140 billion in sales financed and 80.3 million active accounts, Synchrony brings deep industry expertise, actionable data insights, innovative solutions and differentiated digital experiences to improve the success of every business we serve and the quality of each life we touch. Engage with Synchrony Financial.