By Leigh Otten - Changement Consulting
Let’s delve a little deeper into the minefield that is consumer mindset and spending.
If your business has customers or maybe your customers are other businesses, the more options you provide them to purchase what you are selling, the more likely you will get the sale. The more understanding and alignment you show with your customers’ spending habits the more likely the enquiry or basket goes to checkout. A silent prayer for all the basket items that never made it through to checkout to our doorstep after a lunch break scroll or late night insomnia shopping binge.
Now, Afterpay for example has been successful by providing customers of businesses such as Country Road, Cotton On, Rebel and many more the ability to make four even payments to purchase their product. You want a brand new dress from Portmans that retails for $199….Now you can get that by making four payments of $49.25 over 2 months…Cha ching.
So if you don’t have a finance partner or the option to offer a payment plan for your customer, you’re negating to see a significant shift in consumer spending habits. The millennial who wants instant gratification, the mother working to a budget or needing a new work wardrobe, the father reluctant to make a large purchase on himself...make no mistake, you are missing out on sales! Sales that your competitors aren’t missing out on.
Afterpay and zipPay provide your business with a slick shopping cart function and in some cases an in-store facility as well. Their application and approval process is quick and easy and gives customers in most cases a very good experience. However it’s not all roses and chocolates if you decide for your business that either or both of these brands are the payment option you need to provide your customers. Both brands provide limited credit availability for each customer, generally around the $1,000 limit. This $1,000 is not available for just your customers, in fact that $1,000 limit
is for customers to shop anywhere Afterpay and zipPay are available. How do you feel about customers that were your customers receiving marketing by Afterpay or zipPay showing your competitors as options for them to spend? What if customers wanting to use their Afterpay or zipPay account to purchase through your business have bad payment history and the purchase declines. This can leave a real aftertaste for customers and the memory is left at your shopping cart. These are all real concerns if you don’t have the right finance product in your business for your customers. Afterpay or zipPay may quite possibly be the best option for your business and your customers or it could also not fulfil any of the outcomes an effective finance offer could do for your business’ growth.
Other brands in the market for retail businesses include Openpay, PayRight, Latitude, and many more. There are also many business to business’ lenders such as Prospa and OnDeck.
When working with my clients I don’t recommend a brand or a product until we discover some key information about your business, your customers and your purpose around having payment plans for your customers. Many businesses have the option of payment plans for when the customer has already decided to make the purchase. Some businesses like Harvey Norman are the best at it. They promote and market finance as a way to bring people through the doors. I worked closely with one of Australia’s largest Air Conditioning retailers that had decided a gift-with-purchase didn’t help customers who couldn’t afford a new air conditioner in the first place, but a long term Interest Free Payment plan sure did.
Know your purpose for payment options. Know what your customers are looking for? Where else do they shop? What is their demographic? Do they require low fees; do they want a quick approval process; are they prepared to pay interest or want interest free. Again many more questions, all of which you need to have answers for in order to find the best product for you and your customers.
Finally, questions to ask yourself...what offer works best and how much will that cost? Can my business lose any margin, if so how much margin can I lose to offer a payment plan? Does the cost offset the growth? Can the margins in my product sustain if I pick the wrong finance partner.
I have been in consumer finance for over six years, retail and supply for over 20. Changement Group was set up for the purpose of working closely with businesses to educate and implement effective finance and payment options. If you need assistance with this you’re not alone and that’s why we’re here to help.
Afterpay may quite possibly be the best option for your business and your customers, or it could also not fulfil any of the outcomes an effective finance offer could do for your business’ growth. We’re here to work all this through with you and advise accordingly. Give us a call!
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Leigh Otten – 0402 614 436
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