PALM SPRINGS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eTail West 2018 – Vyze, a leader in cloud-based financing technology solutions for retailers, today announced key findings from a merchant survey that illuminates the impact of credit on customer loyalty and experience. The survey explores the gap between what retailers offer and what shoppers expect, and indicates clear actions they can take in 2018 to drive sales and loyalty.
The online survey, conducted in January 2018, focuses on three critical areas: what merchants are doing today to improve the checkout experience; how checkout impacts loyalty; and retailers’ own perceptions on the state of their industry. Key findings include:
State of Retail
Despite news cycles on store closings and Amazon’s ascendency, merchants are optimistic about the state of retail and the state of their businesses.
- Six in 10 view the state of retail as very healthy (ranking 7 points or higher on a 10-point scale).
- Retailers are even more optimistic about the state of their own businesses with 3 in 4 merchants viewing the state of their business as very healthy. Merchants with loyalty programs rate their business health even higher than average (81%).
- A majority views the shopping experience as the key to sustaining a healthy retail sector, and 4 in 10 identify credit/financing options as influential in sustaining sector health.
Nearly all merchants (98%) plan to invest in the checkout experience in 2018 - and specifically on credit applications and financing within checkout.
- Mobile app technology, checkout experience and financing options are the top areas for increased investment in 2018.
- Artificial intelligence and augmented / virtual reality are the least popular areas for investment among the retailers surveyed.
- On average, nearly 30% of goods and services are paid for using retail financing.
- Improving the credit application process, increasing financing options, and improving mobile checkout are the top 3 areas in which merchants plan on focusing their checkout investments.
Eight in 10 merchants offer a loyalty program, and those that offer a loyalty program rate the health of their business more highly than those that don’t.
- Loyalty program membership is the top method used to measure loyalty (64%), closely followed by re-purchase ratios (62%). Traditional methods such as Net Promoter Score rank near the bottom with only 43% of merchants tracking this metric.
- While monetary incentives are still the top drivers of loyalty, offering multiple financing / credit options (36%), having a high rate of credit approvals (35%), and shortening the checkout experience (36%) are also viewed as influential in building customer loyalty.
- Six in 10 (63%) retailers surveyed believe that financing declines at checkout have a negative impact on customer loyalty. Respondents state that credit declines make customers feel offended or embarrassed, causing them to abandon their purchase and go elsewhere.
Serving More Customers
Only half of merchants currently offer secondary lenders, and few merchants offer tertiary lenders, indicating an opportunity to drive loyalty and health by expanding credit options.
- 4 out of 10 merchants believe that secondary / tertiary credit customers are more loyal than other customers.
- While websites and POS terminals are the dominant methods for submitting financing applications, merchants that offer secondary / tertiary lenders are most likely to use paper & text-based applications.
“Most retailers are optimistic about both the industry and their own businesses, and actively investing in areas such as checkout and financing to drive loyalty and customer satisfaction,” said Vyze VP, Customer Success Jai Holtz. “As online and mobile shopping continue to boom, we expect to see a rapid rise in the number of merchants creating or expanding their credit loyalty programs to drive conversion, increase ticket sizes, and improve customer satisfaction scores.”
Vyze is a leading cloud-based financing technology company for retailers. By combining technology, a comprehensive lending supply, and support under one roof, Vyze delivers businesses more satisfying financing experiences for their customers, wherever and whenever they shop.