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Promotional Financing Spurs Buying Decisions, Says Survey

[Thursday, September 10th, 2015]

When making major purchases—spending $500 or more—people are swayed by promotional financing offers, such as credit cards that carry a 0% APR for the first year or longer.

A consumer study from Synchrony Financial showed that 75% of cardholders look for promotional financing offers every time they make a big purchase. Eighty-nine percent of them said that such financing deals make those large purchases more manageable.

Promotional financing deals are relatively easy to find, especially if you have good to excellent credit. Credit cards often give new customers 0% interest rates for the first few months, and up to almost two years in some cases.

Researching purchases over $500 is key

When spending more than $500, customers tend to do their homework. This includes not only making sure the product they buy is the right one for them, but that they are getting the best price and the most appealing financing offer.

Some stores offer 0% financing deals, but no-interest credit cards are an easier way to make those big-ticket buys without paying extra.

Eighty percent of folks looking to make a purchase of $500 or more begin by looking online to find the perfect product. Online research is only the first step though, as most people actually make their purchase in an actual brick-and-mortar store.

Spending attitudes shape shopping habits

The study looked at people’s spending and shopping views in 13 different categories, including appliances, electronics, eyewear, fine jewelry, home improvement, furniture, bedding, garden, sewing, sports, and fitness equipment.

Key findings showed that people were making purchases faster, spending an average of 68 days researching their purchases. In 2014, the average time to research a purchase was 80 days.

People used digital tools to do their research, with 13% of folks making larger purchases online. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they make their purchases in person, regardless of the size of the purchase, and 73% said they even do their product research in-store rather than online. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said the in-store experience sways them toward a purchase more than the online shopping experience does.

The Synchrony Fourth Annual Major Purchase Consumer Study looked at the shopping habits of over 3,400 cardholders and shoppers who spent at least $500 on one purchase in the previous six months—or who planned to make a purchase of $500 or more in the near future. The study was conducted in May 2015.

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