Bricks and Mortar Businesses Need to Embrace a Variety of Finance Options to give their customers greater flexibility in the Digital Age

In 2015, UK online spending increased by 11% year-on-year to £114bn, says IMRG, UK’s e-retail industry association, and research from Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance shows that online shopping on a Sunday has grown by 21% in the last year, to account for the shorter trading hours and consumers demanding greater convenience.

Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance is the UK’s largest retail point of sale credit provider, and working with Amazon and other retailers, has seen a development in the business models of UK retailers. Online players are now offering the speed and support which used to be the preserve of traditional bricks-and-mortar stores, and it has become crucial for retailers to have an omnichannel strategy in place to drive loyalty and attract new customers.

The Advantages of Omnichannel Retailing

Omnichannel is a powerful strategy for bricks and mortar businesses to improve their customer experience and increase sales, creating new opportunities to deliver growth. In 2016, offering customers the choice to pay via a variety of finance options – from interest free to buy now pay later will present a huge advantage in the current marketplace.

According to a research by Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, 53% of customers increased their spending when point of sale finance was available. Furthermore, the study also found that retailers who don’t offer finance options risk losing a staggering 44% of customers, with 26% deciding not to go ahead with the purchase or choosing to buy from another.

Improved Sales, Better Data Collection

Successful retailers will switch to a customer-centric business structure that operates at a lower cost with greater agility. Building an online website could help traditional retailers gain a considerable advantage by improving sales, lowering costs, enhancing productivity.

Additionally, selling on social platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest and Etsy could power significant growth for retailers who seek international expansion. An omnichannel strategy could also allow brick-and-mortar retailers to leverage the data gathered online to generate insights into their customers’ habits and preferences.

Looking ahead, traditional retailers must tune their strategy and embrace an omnichannel approach to match the growth of online shopping. This will allow them to develop a seamless and efficient shopping experience for customers, streamline operational processes and create diversified product lines.

Embracing Consumer Finance options

Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance has found that there is a direct correlation between offering point of sale credit and increased sales, with 83% of customers stating that offering finance heavily influenced their decision to purchase from a specific retailer, and nearly 50% saying it played ‘a very important role’. The research also found that different finance products and credit terms have direct impact on revenue, increasing the average transaction value for customers. This demonstrates that the availability of different finance options can transform bricks and mortar businesses, delivering significant levels of incremental sales, higher sales margins and improved revenue.

Retailers who embrace an omnichannel strategy and provide different finance options will emerge with more efficient and more profitable operations. Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance provides innovative point of sale finance solutions to brick and mortar retailers, helping businesses put omnichannel in the heart of their business strategy to create new opportunities, increase long-term brand value and deliver profitable growth in the digital age.

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