Customer Trends to Consider This Holiday Season

Financing Options Are an Important Customer Trend for Your Customers

customer trendsHoliday trends – they seem to change with every new holiday season. As a retailer, you know you must be attuned to customer trends if you want to increase your business this season. One of the trends that is critical for you to know this year is that smartphones are changing the way consumers shop. However, just because consumers are using their smartphones most of the day doesn’t mean they’re only making online purchases.

Some consumers still enjoy browsing through thick catalogs as they shop for holiday gifts, but the majority are using their smartphones, checking out websites with excellent visuals and videos instead of catalogs. The truth is, when consumers begin shopping, seven out of 10 of them have no idea what they’re looking for, according to a Google consumer survey earlier this year. For this reason, it’s important to make a splash with your online marketing if you want to pull more customers into your retail store.

Many consumers use online resources to become informed on the products they may want to purchase, and then go to the brick and mortar store to make that purchase. Customer trends this holiday season will include going to YouTube for ideas for gifts. “Retail Micro-Moments,” a report from Google/Euromonitor International, shows that 43 percent of smartphone users will use Google to research apparel, 64 percent will research home and garden items, and 68 percent research consumer electronics. Your YouTube presence is an important factor in bringing more customers into your store.

Many shoppers still want to touch what they intend to purchase however, despite the meteoric rise of Amazon’s online shopping model. In fact, they’ll come to your store and jump on their smartphone to research items that you have in stock, comparing them against other items, looking up customer reviews, and gaining confidence before they make that purchase.

Customer trends also include giving them options in how they pay for their items. Consumer financing is almost a prerequisite today to incentivize consumers. By offering consumer financing through a third party, a party that will custom design a program for you and your customers, you’ll see your loyalty rates rise. You can market the fact that you offer this financing options to your customers in your social media channels and traditional marketing practices.

At The HELPcard, we have designed a number of financing programs for retailers in a variety of industries. Furthermore, our financing is available to prime and near-prime consumers. This allows you to cast a wider net when it comes to marketing your services to consumers. Our application process is also quick and easy, which means your consumers will find out almost immediately if they qualify for financing. Contact us today and let’s discuss your shop and your customers’ needs.

Boost Business During the Holidays With Patient Financing and a Creative Marketing Plan

Turn the Slow Season Into a Busy One With Patient Financing

patient financingThe holiday season has historically been a slow time for dental practices. Consumers are out in large numbers buying gifts, planning holiday parties, attending year-end work functions and traveling to see family. One of the last items on their list is a visit to your office. You can turn that around with a focused marketing strategy and by generating a patient financing program.

Leverage the holidays to your advantage by tying in holiday-themed promotions to your business. Plan a promotions schedule around the holidays. Once you get your schedule down, you need to focus on your creative side and start planning your content.

First and foremost, you need to make it relevant if you’re going to engage your patients. Coordinate with your staff on newsletters and social media posts that will catch the eye of the already holiday-engaged consumers. You know your patients are going to indulge in sweets that they wouldn’t normally munch on during the rest of the year, so consider that a call to action for them to stay on top of their oral health.

When you create quality content, you’re proving to your patients that you care about their health. They, in turn, will reciprocate with loyalty, which means return business.

Much of your correspondence throughout the year is likely more straightforward, like reminders that a regular cleaning is coming up. You get a little more creative license around the holidays, so use it to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to be festive. You can even offer some special promotions to brighten those smiles at a reduced rate via a special mailer to your patients. They will be more willing to drop in for an appointment during their busy holiday schedule if you offer a discount.

How is your social media game? Social media is becoming an integral part of every healthcare specialist’s marketing plan, but you can use it to boost your activity during the holidays. Try doing a countdown to a healthy New Year on your Facebook page. This can be an engaging promotion that will get your patients jumping into the conversation, generating more views and likes.

If you haven’t already embarked on a patient financing program, the holidays are a perfect time for that. Consumers are out spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, which means if they can get something from you today and pay for it in low monthly installments over time – after the holidays, they will be more likely to make an appointment during this time of the year.

At The HELPcard, we have assisted many dentists just like you in patient financing programs that improve business. Our services target prime and near prime consumers, which means you’re going to be able to reach out to a much wider audience than you would with other financiers. Get in touch with us today and let’s start planning for a more vibrant holiday season.

Offering Consumer Retail Financing is Just One Way to Maximize Your Holiday Sales

Tap Into Services Like Consumer Retail Financing to Get the Edge on Competitors

consumer retail financingThe holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and you may be wondering if there are any additional steps you can take to ensure that you capture the maximum possible retail sales this year? Now is the time to refine your strategy so that you are making the most of the biggest shopping season of the year. It begins with fantastic customer service and ends with consumer retail financing. Here’s all you need to know:

The customer is always right. Empower your front-line associates to make immediate decisions so that your customer is happy. Think back over your own shopping experiences. It’s hardly ever the initial problem that makes you walk away from a store dissatisfied. It’s really how they handled the solution. If you had to wait while an associate stood at the counter, powerless to help you as they waited for a manager’s code, or you had to haggle with the manager over whether your problem warrants a discount, you were probably done at that store.

Make your employees powerful enough to make customers happy. If you don’t feel like you can hand that control over to every employee, than keep your pros on the register and have your novices straightening inventory or welcoming guests. It’s that simple.

Focus on speed. Brick-and-mortar stores are losing a lot of business to online retailers, and a lot of the reason is convenience. You no longer need to wait a week or more for an online order to show up. If you are running an online retail operation, look for ways to speed up your delivery, or at least offer quicker options for a fee. People will pay for convenience.

Be real. Making your company identity one of a group of people, rather than a corporate identity, is a powerful retail strategy. For instance, when REI closed its stores on Black Friday in order to encourage their employees to embrace what REI is all about by being outside, it was a great move that inspired customer loyalty. You may not have the ability to do something similar on that kind of scale, but even doing things like offering a little store scavenger hunt for little shoppers to keep them busy while parents browse your store is a great idea.

Offer consumer retail financing. Many people want a bigger holiday experience than they can afford right that minute, but they have the credit to pay for it. Offer consumer retail financing to help your customers create the holiday they want. If you don’t have options for your customers, they’ll be walking away to a store that equips them to make the purchases they need for the holiday deadline. Don’t miss this opportunity to capture retail sales.

To learn more about offering consumer retail financing as a strategy for maximizing your holiday sales, talk with us at The HELPcard. We offer your customers online, immediate credit decisions, the services of an account representative and easy payment terms. Call us today!

Providing Financing Options Should be Central to Your Spa Holiday Marketing Strategy

financing optionsTips to Improve Business This Holiday Season Include Offering Financing Options

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to start incorporating holiday marketing ideas into your strategy. Make sure you use financing options as part of your spa marketing strategy going forward. Here are a few other ideas you can incorporate to increase your business this holiday season:

Gift Cards

One of the most popular items a person can buy for a friend or family member is a gift card. It’s a gift that shows your friend or family member that you know where they would like to spend some money, yet you also give them the freedom to choose how they spend it. Offer a holiday promotion where your customer can buy a $25.00 gift card and get a bonus $5.00 card for free.

Social Media Promotions

You can reach a wide audience by announcing a special holiday promotion on your social media platforms. Make announcements on your Facebook page and on Twitter. Post a photo of the promotion on Instagram. You can also take it up a notch by purchasing ad space on Facebook to hit an even wider audience than the people who follow you.

Gift Baskets

Some consumers love the idea of having their friends and family actually open a physical gift rather than give them a gift card. Gift baskets are an excellent way to provide them with a substantial gift. Get creative and make a variety of baskets with an assortment of different items for men and for women. Skin care products, relaxation oils – anything you normally sell in your shop, offer it up in a gift basket.

Give Back to the Community

You can connect with the community during the holiday season by sponsoring a charity drive for your favorite non-profit. Not only are you helping your community, you’re showing them that you care about what happens outside of your business. The side effect is that you’ll establish name recognition for your brand within the community.

Offer Financing Options

If you haven’t already sought out a financier for consumer retail financing, the holidays are a perfect time to do it. You can also include that you have financing options at your spa in all your marketing promotions.

Consumers today want options when it comes to how they pay for goods and services. They don’t always want to pay for their entire bill up front, especially during the holidays. Low monthly payments can help them spread out the cost of holiday shopping. It also helps to establish loyal customers who will continue to come back to your spa.

The HELPcard is ready to assist you in setting up a financing program that will attract more customers. Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can boost your traffic with consumer financing.

Focus on Consumer Trends to Increase Sales at Your Pet Supply Store

Create Long-term Customers by Concentrating on Consumer Trends and Financing Options

consumer trendsThe market for the pet industry has tripled in the last 20 years as the money pet owners spend continues to increase. As you watch consumer trends in your industry and what pet owners are spending their money on, what can you do to pull in more business from those pet owners?

The American Pet Products Association reports that in 2012, pet owners spent $53 billion on pet-related purchases. While Americans were still feeling the pinch from the Great Recession that began in 2008, pet owners continued to spend. How can you ensure that you bring in a share of that business to your store?

Trade shows are booming with new products that are guaranteed to attract impassioned pet owners. Animal-themed jewelry has become a go-to item for many retailers for the simple reason that it’s extremely popular with pet owners. You can add hand carved/painted jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, or key chains that are designed with specific breed themes. And as a bonus, jewelry won’t take up much space in your shop.

While pet apparel such as sweaters, t-shirts and coats will take up more room, there are many styles from which to choose and fun for pet owners. You can rotate out seasonal apparel and always have updated options for you customers.

The health movement is also affecting the pet industry. Pet owners are seeking out healthy foods that will prolong the life of their pets instead of working against them like many grain-heavy food vendors offer. Furthermore, they’re looking for natural foods that will improve their pets’ quality of life. The consumer trends for natural products, including toys made out of safe, recycled materials, is also strong right now, which means it’s prime time to devote an area of your shop for natural treats, foods and accessories.

You should also consider consumer trends related to how consumers spend their money at the checkout counter. Consumers today are looking for options when it comes to how they spend money. They’re increasingly doing business with shops that offer consumer financing.  What’s important to remember about consumer financing is that when store owners implement such a service, they see more customers buying more items at once, and they become loyal customers.

At The HELPcard, we’re a company that offers excellent financing programs that fit a number of different industries. We also cater to prime and near-prime consumers. Contact us today and let’s discuss your business opportunities.

Looking for Ways to Increase Customer Sales for Your Pet Store This Holiday Season?

Utilize Financing as a Part of Your Strategies to Increase Customer Sales

customer salesThis holiday season pet owners will be out in force, looking for special treats, toys, leashes, harnesses and other perfect gifts for their beloved furry family members. How can you entice more of this business to your store so you can get more customer sales?

First, you need to focus on getting your brand out in front of more people. You likely update your website on a regular basis to reflect the new products you bring into your store, and you may have already figured out that an active blog helps to direct more traffic to your site. Now is the time to create an area on your site that is holiday themed. Make a list of the top selling items in your store to give those pet owners or people buying gifts for their pet owner friends a better idea of what’s hot and what’s not. Add that to your site along with holiday specials.

You should also consider getting involved in Cyber Monday, as this is a real boost for retailers who do it right. Some retailers are even hosting a pre-Cyber Monday sale the week before to test the waters, and then again on the actual Cyber Monday date. This is a great opportunity to put package deals together and offer a discount. Be sure to advertise on your social media sites and consider paying for some ads in local publications to boost interest.

Deck out your store in Christmas themed displays. Be as creative as you want. You could have a display completely dedicated to stocking stuffers – the little knick-knacks that can easily fit in Fido’s stocking.

If your store offers pet grooming services, offer a special holiday package that discounts your services. For instance, you could offer a $10 discount off a shampoo and a trim, or throw in a nail clipping for free.

One way to really boost loyalty is to give your clients something. Pet shop owners are always handing out free snacks to dogs and cats that come in – why not give something to their owners as well? This could be a little box of chocolates and a hand written thank you note. Or, it could be a bottle of wine – just pick something you know your customers will appreciate. They remember this throughout the year and will keep coming back to you.

One sure way to pull in more customers during the holidays and throughout the year is to offer consumer financing. Customer sales have been shown to see a significant boost when financing becomes a reality. This is especially valuable for customers who come in and make large purchases. Instead of paying in one payment, they can spread it out into low monthly payments.

Contact The HELPcard today and let’s talk about our consumer financing programs that can improve customer loyalty and your customer sales.

Think Outside the Box to Bring Marketing Advantages

Connect With Your Consumers With a New Strategy to Bring Marketing Advantages

marketing advantagesOnline retail shopping has created a quandary for retailers trying to market their brand through traditional methods. The Internet has become a tool for marketers in every industry, but it’s also created a new behavior in consumers. Could bringing in financing options along with other new ideas help you gain marketing advantages?

According to a report from Deloitte, an industry-leading advisory company, consumers are no longer responding to retail advertising like they once did. The report finds that only 30 percent of the consumers that were surveyed said that they respond to retail advertising, which is down from 70 percent in 2014. These are consumers who are finding more control by doing their research online and shopping online. This doesn’t mean they are no longer reachable.

The goal now is to think outside the box. If the advertising you’ve been using is failing to offer the same return on investment it once did, you have to change your way of thinking. For instance, have you ever considered video in your strategy? Of the marketers who have tried it, 82 percent say it has had a positive impact on their business. It’s this success rate that has around 93 percent of marketers using video in their campaigns today.

Cisco released a report saying that video will account for nearly 70 percent of consumer Internet traffic by next year. Online consumers prefer video because it’s an easy way for them to process information. Video also is a better method for keeping the user’s attention, much better than print alone. It only makes sense to incorporate it into your strategy to find new customers.

Shopping at a brick and mortar store still rates high with most consumers. The online shopping is extremely convenient, but there is shipping involved, so there is a delayed sense of gratification with online shopping. Going to the actual store and handling the product before the consumer makes a purchase remains the preferred method. This means you have opportunities to make them a loyal customer while they’re in your shop.

One way to get that loyalty you’ve been looking for is to partner with a financier that can work with you to put together a consumer credit program that offers financing options to your customers. But don’t partner with just any financier – pick the one that will build a program that caters to prime and near prime consumers.

At The HELPcard, we’ve built a number of programs for clients, giving them what they need to stand out against their competitors. Our clients use the fact that they offer in-store financing in their marketing strategies, and it works. Contact us today and find out how we can assist you.