The 5 reasons customers hate holiday shopping and how alternative payments can help

Last year, we surveyed a population of American adults about holiday shopping to understand the needs of our customers better. While we knew that holiday shopping could cause stress, we had no idea just how much of an impact it had. In fact, 61 percent of people said holiday spending is a source of marital strife. We also discovered that 15 percent planned to max out credit cards to pay for gifts, and 39 percent said they were going to borrow money to cover holiday purchases. With numbers like that it’s clear why Americans are losing sleep over spending.

Below are five reasons customers hate holiday shopping and how an alternative payment method can help.

1. The fear of the overspending

The holidays are an expensive time of year for consumers. With holiday travel, gifts, and a new wardrobe or home furnishes for holiday parties, shoppers feel their finances are extremely tight. But more than that, it’s easy to overspend during this time, and when customers don’t feel secure in their spending it can be challenging to get them to convert.

By offering an honest pay over-time option, your business can help relieve the stress for your consumers and ultimately increase conversion. Giving your consumers a way to spread out spending over a few months during an expensive time of year will help them feel more in control of their purchases.

2. Overload of similar promotions and sales

Every retail store is promoting a sale or discount over the holidays, and customers want to get the best deals. But with so many advertisements, it can be paralyzing. Stand out from the hundreds of other holiday sales by offering a pay over-time option instead.  

A pay over-time option gives shoppers a way to ease the financial burden they carry during the holidays by spreading out the purchase over multiple months. This option has the same effect as a discount for reducing the immediate financial stress without the price dilution for your brand.

Running a holiday 0% APR promotion can also differentiate your business.  With this program, customers get to spread out their purchase, don’t have to worry about interest, and your business doesn’t decrease prices. It’s a win-win for all involved.

3. Confusing debt terms and late fees follow them into the new year

Shoppers are used to holiday debt following them around for the next year. So instead of requiring shoppers to run up their credit cards and risk compounding interest and late fees, offer them an honest and transparent alternative. By providing a pay over-time option with terms from three to 36 months, shoppers can spread out their expensive purchases over a more extended period and ease their anxiety. With these terms, shoppers can buy more while stilling living their normal lives.  No more scrimping in January to make up for an expensive December.

4. Bad mobile checkout experiences

When a would-be gift-giver finds the perfect present, they want to buy it immediately. But many online stores have a terrible mobile checkout. Retailers report that the conversion rate on mobile averages only 55 percent of the conversion rate on desktops because checkout isn’t optimized for mobile.  

During the 2016 holiday season, one-third of apparel purchases were made via mobile. Our mobile-first approach is optimized to make shopping on the go easy and convenient.  Affirm shoppers increasingly favor mobile, 71 percent using mobile to 28 percent on desktop.  

5. The lack of a personalized shopping experience

Consumers crave a unique shopping experience. The needs of every shopper are different and your business should be creating a personalized experience for them. By implementing multiple financing programs your business can meet the varying needs of your customers. Some may require a 0% APR promotion, others may be willing to take on an interesting baring loan if they can pay it off over six or 12 months. With Affirm, you can meet your customers where they are.

To create a truly personalized experience, use our upgrade features to implement dynamic messaging for your holiday pay over-time promotions or your customer’s prequalified limit. With dynamic messaging, your site will always match the unique offers presented to that individual customer.

Set your business up for holiday success

The holidays are an important time of year for any retail business. Make sure you are set up for success by implementing and messaging Affirm as an option to your customers. Give your customers the confidence to browse and checkout by putting Affirm on your homepage, product pages, and at payment. By advertising a pay over-time option earlier in the funnel you will see an increase in conversion and average order value.  Pay over-time is a perfect complement to holidays. Your customers and your conversion will thank you.