‘Our secret weapon’
If you ask Home Furnishings Association members about Synchrony’s competitive financing rates, they’ll tell you how Synchrony differentiates their stores from their competitors, helps drive repeat business, closes more sales and instills customer loyalty.
This time of year, HFA member Damon Peterson offers another reason why he’s a fan of the financing program: quarterly rebates have been announced.
“The rebates alone pay for my association membership,” says Peterson, owner of Royal Star Furniture in South Saint Paul, Minn. “For me, it’s the best benefit by far the association offers me because it pays for itself every year.”
Peterson takes full advantage of Synchrony’s exclusive rates for HFA members starting at his website where consumers can apply online for credit and, if successful, bring the approved code with them to Royal Star ready to shop.
“It’s easy on the customers because they can do it at home and in private, but it makes my sales staff’s jobs a lot easier because now they’re not doing paperwork,” he says. “Their time is spent selling.”
Peterson also has plenty of signage in the store alerting customers to Synchrony. “It’s been really effective for us,” he says. “The economy’s going strong and people are in the mood to buy when they come into the store. They’re not afraid to buy on credit, so when they see (Synchrony’s signage) in here that’s all they need.”
Michael Sawyer remembers when a husband and wife came into his outdoor store, Outside in Style, in Austin, Texas, last year with different wish lists.
He wanted a sectional sofa for their patio. She had something else in mind: an outdoor dining set.
Sawyer was resigned to just one sale, but which one? Turns out he sold both after the couple applied for Synchrony financing and learned they qualified for $9,000 in credit – three times what they were expecting.
Those add-ons, courtesy of the HFA’s relationship with Synchrony, are bigger and more frequent than retailers might think, says Sawyer.
“I see a lot of them every month,” Sawyer says. “Customers come in expecting to buy one particular piece of furniture, but when we set them up on Synchrony they realize they can afford a little bit more. Suddenly that $3,000 purchase turns into $5,000 and a lot of times much more. Synchrony is like our secret weapon.”
Outside in Style sells high-end outdoor furniture. Sawyer says it would be difficult for his sales staff to sell a high-end outdoor set to many of his middle-class shoppers without Synchrony.
“It’s not easy to have them understand our furniture may cost a little more, but it’s going to last 10 or 15 years longer than most inexpensive lines,” he says.
Taking advantage of Synchrony financing and the HFA’s exclusive buy-down rates is one way for Sawyer to help ease his customers’ sticker shock.
The store offers a popular 12-month, no-interest financing plan that Sawyer says “makes our higher price point much more attractive and attainable to a lot of our customers.”
Peterson says Synchrony in his store is a no-brainer. “Customers want options – not just in the furniture they’re looking for but in how to pay for it,” he says. “What Synchrony does for us is it gives our customers another option. The more choices they have, the more likely we are to get them as a customer.”
For more information about the HFA’s exclusive rates with Synchrony, contact a member specialist at 800-422-3778.