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How flexible are you?

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flexi

How flexible are you? No, I’m not asking an altogether personal question. Neither am I trying to suss out how good an opponent you’d be in a game of Twister. What I’m wondering is how flexible retailers are when it comes to providing a variety of payment options for their customers?

In 2019, we live in a world of on-tap choices. We can watch whatever programme we want, whenever we want, on whichever streaming network we choose. We can be served the vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or lactose-free version of any cuisine. We develop playlists of music catered to our tastes, mood, or vibe that day. So would it really surprise you to know that 25% of consumers admit that they abandon transactions at the point of check-out if brands don’t provide the payment option that they favour?

The innovation in technology in payments over the past decade has been nothing short of a revelation for consumers. Not only is it hardly ever a necessity to have cash nowadays, but the evolution of smartphone payment wallets has practically made needing to leave the house with anything else totally obsolete. And that’s not all. Consumers now expect to be able to pay in different ways, not just via different means.

Traditionally, shoppers had pretty much two broad options available to them in the UK. Pay for purchases upfront, or pay for purchases via finance. The former is great if you’ve got the cash to spare – works every time. But what about the latter? Well, in short, it didn’t go well for people. Generation X saw their levels of personal debt soar to totally unmanageable levels. Aspirational or bigger ticket purchases were made on readily available credit cards – and with mounting interest and high repayment rates, it was easy to fall right down the rabbit hole and land in a pit of debt. It’s no wonder then that, come 2019, we’re looking for some more appealing options.

So what do people want? The answer is a straightforward one – they simply want the option of innovative payment methods. Research has found that a huge 78% of consumers would consider purchasing through retail finance ‘buy now, pay later’ options. An option like (without meaning to blow our own trumpet too loudly) Laybuy.

With our payment platform, people can purchase items in six weekly, interest free payments, the first being at point of sale. We have a global partnership with Experian, which carries out an affordability check on all shoppers to ensure they are given a spending limit that is manageable for them. This helps to ensure people don’t get into debt that they can’t afford, but for those who are eligible it removes the need for interest laden credit and long-term borrowing. Laybuy offers customers choice and, unlike traditional credit, is not an invitation to live perpetually outside of your means. It’s safe, it’s easy – and above all, it provides that much craved flexibility.

It’s not all about the consumer though – offering flexibility like this is very much a two way street in terms of the benefits conferred. For the retailer, it gives another way to get those much needed sales without needing to discount for the sake of affordability. It gets people’s ‘skin in the game’ in a way that other payment options don’t when there is no transaction at all at point of purchase, lessening the chances of returns. And it simply improves the customer relationship by giving the people what they want.

The moral of the story? Don’t be a rigid retailer. A bit of flexibility goes a long way, and not just for the gymnasts and ballet dancers out there. To the 23% of retailers out there that don’t offer any payment choice at all other than a mainstream credit or debit card – don’t be shy. Drop us a line at Laybuy – we’d be stoked to help.

Watch out robots – the humans are coming

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Alex Rohloff
Alex Rohloff

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