“Higher costs for fuel and other disposable goods will not reduce consumer desire to add or replace durables such as flooring,” says Vern Eliason, Director of Retail Sales for American General Financial Services. “The key to success in the coming months is in making products affordable for the average consumer so that they can fulfill their desires.”

Consumer financing, provided by companies like American General Financial Services, is nothing new to the industry and as a result may be taken for granted. 

“But, when we consider that about 70% of buyers expect the retailer to provide some sort of financing it’s obvious that financing should be an integral part of every merchant’s marketing plan,” Vern added.  “Financing makes products affordable.”

Most stores carry a range of styles and price points to appeal to individual needs.  So too, it’s important to have a variety of financing options available. 

Regular revolving financing from American General Financial Services allows consumers to adjust their own payments monthly to fit fluctuations in their budget.  They make just the minimum payment due, or pay more to reduce the balance if the budget allows.

Same as cash promotional financing helps consumers reduce the total purchase cost by eliminating finance charges if the account is paid within the promotional period.  The promotions can be set up with a minimum monthly payment or a deferred payment that is not due until later in the contract.  

Advertising a reduced annual percentage rate appeals to shoppers who have credit cards with 18%, 21% or higher annual percentages rates.

American General Financial Services offers many promotional terms that you can use individually or in combination to drive new business into your store.

Offer Financing Early in the Sale

Presenting your financing options early is another key to making the sale.

When shoppers are asking your sales people about product features they are also thinking “cost” in the backs of their minds.  When you introduce the subject of financing you provide another compelling reason to buy from you that day.  Consumer studies have shown that over half of shoppers prefer to buy from a reputable retailer who offers financing.  A sales person well-versed in your financing program is essential to your success.

Plus, finance users tend to purchase more than cash buyers.  On average, retailers who incorporate financing as part of the sales process can expect to see at least a 25% increase in sales. 

Financing also facilitates add-on sales well after the initial sale.  Savvy retailers use message space on the monthly billing statement to enhance the customer relationship.  Regular open-to-buy, preferred customer sales and special promotional mailings keep finance customers coming back to buy again.

“American General can help you uncover opportunities to make your products and services affordable, adding to the entire customer experience,” Vern said.  “You’ll discover that our comprehensive financing program and experienced support team can be the force behind your highly productive sales effort.”– Greg Thomas