Customer-centric finance options

  • In association with FlexiGroup
  • November 7, 2017
  • The Register team
Customer-centric finance options

Cashflow isn’t just a key consideration for retailers – customers, too, must assess whether they have the resources to commit to a big purchase before swiping their card. Retailers can help them say “Yes”, and smooth out their own cashflow, by providing the right kind of finance.

Offering a mixture of finance options allows shoppers to choose which best suits their needs at the time, says FlexiGroup New Zealand chief executive Chris Lamers. FlexiGroup’s stable of finance products includes Q Card, a credit card which offers a minimum of three months with no payments or interest, and Oxipay.

Oxipay is a finance product that’s about giving customers the freedom to buy what they want immediately, and split the payments over four easily-managed payments.

“For retailers, you get that sale now,” says Lamers.

Lamers believes consumers are moving away from traditional finance products towards new products like Oxipay in search of transparency. By spreading the purchase cost over four instalments, Oxipay gives customers more control over their cashflow, and it’s an easier product to understand than credit cards, cash loans or lay-by arrangements.

“I think there’s a real move towards that certainty and empowerment,” Lamers says. “We’re going to see a big increase in people choosing fixed instalment payment options.”

Oxipay is backed by FlexiGroup, an ASX-listed Top 200 company that was founded more than 25 years ago. It launched Oxipay in July in response to demand from younger consumers for a flexible payments solution that allows them to be smart with their cashflow.

Lamers says each consumer will have a different “retail flinch point”, or a threshold at which their intended spend crosses over from being a discretionary purchase into what they’d consider a significant expenditure. The shopper’s perspective on spending isn’t necessarily proportionate to their wealth, but always reflects their attitude to value.

Some shoppers won’t bat an eye at goods under $1,000, but would consider a $5,000 home theatre system to be a big spend. For these people, Q Card will be an appropriate financial product as it will allow them to pay their purchase off over several years with a low interest rate.

Other shoppers will need finance to help them rationalise buying a $150 pair of jeans. Oxipay is ideal for shoppers with this mindset. Customers must be 18 or older to sign up, and they undergo a real-time instant credit check. Oxipay has set a $1,000 limit across five separate purchases, with each fortnightly payment limited to no more than $250. 

“For retailers, Oxipay is kind of a no-brainer,” says Lamers. “They get the money, the consumer gets their goods, we take the credit risk.”

Another trend Lamers has noticed can be characterised as the “need it now” shopper. Impatience is often ascribed to Millennials, but fast deliveries and efficient service are now an expectation from all consumers.

“For us, it’s about saying, ‘How do you do that in a way that’s good for the retailer, good for the customer and good for us?’”

Oxipay can be integrated into retailers’ ecommerce platforms, allowing shoppers to get their finance in place and order with fewer steps. Customers can sign up for Oxipay or Q Card in-store using their smartphones in a process that takes approximately five to 10 minutes. Most will receive instant approval.

“People are impatient and we have the product to make that happen.”

Quickly-implemented finance products can be a big help for retailers who rely on time-bound sale promotions. Lamers notes that shoppers who intend to return to the store later when they’ve saved up for a product that’s caught their eye don’t always follow through.

“People are in a moment, and I know it, and everyone who’s ever sold anything knows it,” says Lamers. “They might come back later, or they might walk down the street and see something just as good.”

However, Lamers says both FlexiGroup and its retail partners also have a duty of care towards customers.

“Credit is a contract and you to have to take it seriously, but how do you balance making it frictionless and really easy with making it simple for people to understand what they’re signing up to?”

Retailers should not consider finance products to be simply a means to a quick sale, but as the start of a relationship between their brand, the finance provider and the customer, Lamers says. The right finance product can even facilitate the retailer in recommending the right product for a customer’s needs by allowing the shopper to invest in a higher-quality item that their liquid cash may not stretch to.

“A lot of people look at credit as being about ‘want’, but sometimes credit can be about need,” Lamers says. “Coming up to Christmas, it’s a big spending time, not everyone has the money.”

If shoppers commit to an Oxipay repayment schedule now, they’ll be able to spread out their payments across the festive season, rather than using up funds which may be needed for Christmas expenses later on. Retailers seeking to help shoppers say “Yes” to a significant spend should give the customer some options for how they can smooth out the payments over a longer period, says Lamers.

Data provided by FlexiGroup illustrates how well-suited these products are for Christmas shopping. In 2016, FlexiGroup saw more consumers using its Q Card product in the month of December than any other month – 50 percent more than average, in fact. Q Card customers also increased their frequency of transactions by 32 percent over the same timeframe.

FlexiGroup says that in the lead-up to Christmas, frequency of card use increases month on month from October onwards and spikes in December. In January 2016, the number of customers using their Q Cards dropped by almost one fifth following the Christmas season.

Lamers recommends retailers take the time to understand Oxipay, Q Card and any other finance products they offer before recommending them to customers, as it’s important the customer clearly comprehends the product.

How Evolution Cycles handles Christmas sales strategies

North Island bicycle chain Evolution Cycles sees its sales ramp up significantly in the lead-up to Christmas. Here’s director Sam Fletcher with some advice about pre-Christmas selling.

What does a high-value purchase look like at your store?

This varies from location to location, city to city, but generally in the last year it’s been couples wanting to buy a ‘his and hers’ electric bike.

Do you have any tips for helping shoppers say “Yes!” to a big spend?  

Finance does go a long way to breaking down barriers around the cost of high-value items. When it’s broken down as a per week or per month amount, customers can get their head around this a lot easier.

Is Christmas a time when more high-value purchases are made by your customers, or is the distribution of these even throughout the year?

We tend to see a higher turnover gross dollar amount at Christmas, but a lower average transaction value compared to other times of the year. This is mainly because people will spend less on gifts for other people as opposed to big purchases for themselves.

How important is Christmas spending to your business’s cash flow?

It’s massive. It’s the only reason most retailers can survive year to year.

What are your strategies for coping through slow periods at other times of the year?

A structured marketing plan. Bringing certain products to the market at certain times of the year at the right price point.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Automation will help retailers focus on customers

  • News
  • June 19, 2019
  • The Register team
Automation will help retailers focus on customers

More than 100 retailers have gathered at Freedom Furniture’s new Newmarket flagship to consider what the upcoming wave of automation technology offers for the industry. Speakers included Pier Smulders from Alibaba Group and Soul Machines’ Hilary O’Connor.

Read more

A guide to the four favourite business f***-ups I've made

  • Opinion
  • June 18, 2019
  • Wendy Thompson
A guide to the four favourite business f***-ups I've made

Wendy Thompson is the founder and CEO of the successful social media marketing agency Socialites, and has 16 years digital marketing experience in some of New Zealand's top advertising agencies. However. that doesn't mean she hasn't made her fair share of mistakes in her career. Here, in her typically colourful way, she shares four mistakes she's learnt from all her years in business – and the important lessons she learnt from them.

Read more

The Kiwi start-up making edible coffee cups a reality

  • Design
  • June 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
The Kiwi start-up making edible coffee cups a reality

The vanilla-flavoured, sog-resistant edible cups produced by Auckland company Twiice were four years in the making, but now they’re on the menu at Auckland cafes. We gave them a taste.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Alibaba runs its Ecommerce Expo in New Zealand for the first time

Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group reported revenue of more than US$56 billion this year, and in it owns the world’s largest online B2B trading platform ...


The beauty of it: From start to success with cosmetics mogul Rowena Roberts

  • News
  • June 14, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
The beauty of it: From start to success with cosmetics mogul Rowena Roberts

Rowena Roberts had zero experience in retail when she propositioned Estée Lauder to allow her to open a MAC Cosmetics store in New Zealand. Now, over 18 years later through her business Red Honey Cosmetics, she has sold luxury brands Jo Malone London, Bobbi Brown and MAC in New Zealand successfully. The cosmetics mogul talks to us on the most important aspects of running her businesses, and why no one should ever be afraid to do the literal dirty work.

Read more

Spread the word: Pic’s Peanut Butter World opens

If all the world’s a stage, Pic’s Peanut Butter World is no peanut gallery.

Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit