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Re-Inventing Retail: Getting Back to Basics

The retail industry is being pressured like never before. The rise of online shopping means that many shoppers are shopping from their couch, with Amazon and UPS doing the hard work. But we should not exaggerate the trend– because brick and mortar still accounts for the lion’s share of retail. But as a host of pressures– not just the online option but also wage pressures for in-store employees and more– bear down on retail, it’s useful to look at some retail trends that still need more attention, as we all attempt to reinvigorate retail shopping.

Of course, a lot of attention is given in the trade press to increasing the wow factor of the retail store– by making the shopping experience more interactive in-store, with technology tools for example. All that is fine and good– but in retail as in football sometimes you need to get back to the basics. And on that field of basics is the perennial challenge of converting sub-par credit shoppers into paying, repeat customers.  Because there is so much money being left on the table by retailers, including CE market retailers, that it’s hard to listen to whining about online pressures when some retailers are not doing the in-store basics well.

Case in point: approximately 104 million adults over the age of 18 are considered non-prime consumers who cannot benefit from traditional financing options due to a low or absent credit score. More than 20% of those customers have no relationship with any financial institution. By being declined for a traditional financing option, more than 100 million willing consumers are effectively reduced to window shopping. These willing consumers walk out empty-handed, and the retailer loses a sale.

Enter, Lease Purchase programs, that offer consumers the exact product they wish to bring home, allowing them to make affordable monthly payments while providing a more flexible way to obtain ownership. While not a traditional financing option, these agreements pave the way for nearly one-third of the U.S. population to own what they need, fostering customer loyalty with the retailer that offers the option, encouraging repeat business, and forging a successful relationship with a segment of consumers that have been cut out of the retail loop in the past. How can retailers can tap into that $24 billion of buying power, and offer customers an alternate way to obtain big-ticket items for their families, thereby turning browsers into buyers and growing sales? A new white paper explores this topic, with some intriguing data and some pretty deep analysis. Download the white paper by clicking here.