Consumer’s confidence and willingness to dole out cash is on the rise, according to the 2014 Major Purchase Consumer Study by Synchrony Financial. The study, in its third year, found that of the shopper surveyed four of 10 indicate the willingness to make a $500 or more purchase within the next 12 months, a jump of 33% from last year.
According to Synchrony, the amount of time consumers spend on their path to purchase – an average of 80 days – contributes to greater confidence. Consumers are conducting extensive online and in-store research searching for the best deal, with 88% of account holders indicating they “always seek the best deal,” and more than half saying “the best price trumps convenience.”
The study found that 80% of major purchase shoppers start research online, with 60% visiting retailer websites and 42% visiting review sites. Additionally nearly 50% of respondents use a mobile device in search, with one in five using one while in store.
“For the third consecutive year, our Major Purchase Consumer Study has tracked the importance of digital tools for research, and these latest findings confirm more consumers and omni-channel shoppers are now purchasing bigger ticket items online,” said Toni White, chief marketing officer of Synchrony Financial. “At the same time, related opportunities emerged to increase consumer satisfaction with retailer websites and the reliability of online reviews as well as the visibility of promotions and financing options – considerations for retailers as they focus on providing the best shopping experience.”
The study has also found that on average major purchase shoppers visited four unique retailers, participating in an average of eight interactions, before making their purchase. Sixty-one percent of random shoppers agree that financing makes large purchase affordable, but only 46% were aware of promotional financing at a retailer. Additionally, 76% of cardholders surveyed always seek promotional financing options, with 56% choosing another retailer if a promotion was not available, Synchrony said.