Ready for what’s next: How retail finance could ease customer fears and keep sales climbing

The retail environment is adapting. But not just to new restrictions. Customers’ expectations and needs are also evolving, as socially distanced shopping is now considered the norm and will be for the foreseeable future.

In these challenging times, many retailers may find it difficult to re-engage customers. While some people will be itching to get out and experience something new, others will be more cautious and may need reassurance before reaching a purchase decision.

So how could the purchase process be affected by this? And how can retailers use point of sale (POS) finance to help customers overcome any uncertainty about their shopping experience?

Prioritising customer safety

63% of in-store shoppers value being able to physically see an item before they make a purchase 1. So while the one-way systems, sanitising stations and counter shields may not look inviting, these safety precautions are helping shoppers to feel reassured as doors reopen. And the same customer-first approach can be applied to the purchase process by offering a range of payment options, including POS finance.

A key feature of retail finance from Barclays is that it’s completely contact-free. Customers can complete their application using their own device while stood next to the goods in-store. It helps keep staff protected too, as there’s no need to hand over any store devices or handle any paperwork.

Customers can even verify their identity for additional security using a selfie and photographs of their chosen ID. And when they’re ready to sign the agreement, whether in store or from the comfort of their own home, our Sign Anywhere capability means everything can be confirmed with a click.

The switch in control during the application process helps to reassure uncertain customers, and could be the difference between a customer choosing to buy from you or walking away.

Reassurance goes beyond the shop floor

For many people, the current situation has given them a reason to review and reconsider the way they spend. For those customers who are still looking to make a purchase their decisions are likely to be more shrewd to fit within their budget.

This is where a POS finance option can be helpful. 27% of consumers already choose their purchase destination based on a retailer’s access to consumer finance 2 – and this is likely to increase as financial awareness comes to the fore. Being able to spread the cost of a purchase with smaller, set payments each month could help to make budgeting easier for customers and offers more breathing space while they’re uncertain about their financial future.

As well as an additional layer of protection on POS finance purchases between £100 - £30,000, Section 75 cover is automatically provided on purchases using a credit card or point of sale loan. This means the finance provider has the same responsibility as the retailer to put things right for the customer if something goes wrong with the purchase.

More opportunities to thrive

The remote process that retail finance provides means there’s an opportunity to do even more towards helping your customers feel safe – and broadening your services.

Our latest application process offers your customers flexible billing and shipping addresses. This means that they can choose to have their purchases delivered to a different address, so you can offer a click and collect option if they’re using retail finance as their payment method.

Customers will value this option if free delivery isn’t feasible. Before the pandemic, click and collect orders were predicted to grow by 55% over the next two years 3, however this could increase as more businesses bring in new ways to shop online and in-store.

Offer customers a safe and convenient payment method

Our POS finance options are ready to help your business meet the changing needs of your customers.

To find out more and see how we can help you introduce contact free solutions to put you and your customers at ease, fill out our online form.

Get in touch

To discuss your business requirements and how Barclays can support you, contact us today.


Why finance could be the answer to some of your customer’s concerns

Our expert Costa Stathis on why you should promote finance across the sales journey.


Remote Document Verification: Why it works

Mitigate fraud remotely as part of the finance application process; making the process more efficient for you and a positive experience for your customers.


1 Barclays Partner Finance consumer research survey, June 2019

2 Barclays Partner Finance consumer insights report, 2019

3 https://www.globaldata.com/uk-click-collect-sales-set-soar-55-6-2022/