Archive for the ‘Using a Layaway Shopping Cart’ Category

Using Layaways to Increase Sales

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Retailers have been using layaways to sell high value merchandise long before the first internet packet traveled down a phone line. Surprisingly, internet based layaway systems are still a non-existent component of the internet and on-line shopping carts. This despite the fact that in brick and mortar stores, layaways are hugely popular, offering consumers convenience and affordability.

Layaways allow consumers to pay for products over time. Most often, this is an affordability issue, where the consumer is dependent on their next paycheck to make their next layaway payment. Without a layaway option, these consumers can’t afford the price of products like jewelry, furniture, or art-work. Layaways essentially expand the universe of consumers that can afford to buy a given product. This not only increases the likelihood of a sale, but also puts upward pressure on the price. Higher prices and faster inventory turns are things that interest all retailers. It’s no wonder layaways have become an essential component of many retailers’ business.

Offering layaway services over the internet (rather than at a physical store) provides numerous conveniences for consumers and retailers. Layaway based shopping carts include a ‘Put in Layaway’ button in addition to the standard ‘Add to Cart’ button. This means that consumers don’t have to visit a physical store in order to put a product in layaway. Once their credit card is checked and the layaway deposit made, consumers can make periodic payments until the entire balance is paid (including shipping and taxes). All this happens without a consumer ever stepping into a store or a retailer ever manually handling a payment transaction. It’s simple, convenient and affordable. A ‘win-win’ for both consumers and retailers.

Some shopping cart layaway systems are packed with features that offer retailers control while offering consumers convenience. These on-line layaway systems automatically calculate the minimum payment required, the remaining balance, and the due date. Systems allow consumers to put multiple items in layaway, and let consumers make multiple payments simultaneously.

One of the best reasons to offer an on-line layaway system is that if gives retailers a reason to communicate with their customers. Reminder emails will be well appreciated by consumers who forget their layaways are becoming past due. Retailers can send emails suggesting complimentary products that can be shipped when the layaway item is shipped. Consumers will likely be attentive to any messages from a retailer while they have products in layaway.

If you currently offer an automated on-line layaway system, I’d like to hear from you. It’s always fun to find out what retailers are doing ‘in the wild’. If you’re a consumer, and would like to see more internet based layaway systems, please offer your suggestions as to what conveniences you would like to see in these systems. After all, in the end, it’s all about ease, affordability, and convenience.