Access to Deals and Information Drives Faster Major Purchase Decisions

Fifth Annual Major Purchase Consumer Study explores shopping journey
across 13 categories

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Empowered with research, reviews and real-time discount information,
shoppers making purchases of $500 or more are more decisive and
deal-oriented than ever before, according to Synchrony Financial’s Fifth
Annual Major Purchase Consumer Study.

More major purchase shoppers report starting and ending their shopping
journey online this year and spending less time (63 days on average vs.
68 days in 2015) on the path to purchase than in the past. As part of
this year’s study, Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF),
a premier consumer financial services company with 80 years of heritage,
explored shopping and spending preferences and the path to making a
major purchase across 13 categories: appliances; automotive service and
products; electronics; eyewear; fine jewelry; flooring; home
improvement; furnishings; bedding and mattresses; lawn and garden;
musical instruments; sewing; and sports and fitness equipment.

“Major purchase shoppers are seeking maximum value in minimal time,
taking a multi-faceted approach to navigate information and narrow
options,” said Bart Schaller, EVP and chief marketing officer, Synchrony
Financial. “Although shoppers are more decisive, they remain cautious
about spending and carefully consider where to buy based on deal,
product and financing availability.”

Key findings of the Fifth Annual Major Purchase Consumer Study include:


  • The major purchase journey is declining to 63 days spent on average,
    down five days from 2015 and 17 days from 2014.
  • More shoppers (85%) report starting their research online compared to
    80% last year.
  • The research process spans multiple digital assets and nearly 68% of
    shoppers surveyed visited the retailer’s website; more than 60% used
    search engines; over half also viewed the manufacturer’s site; and
    approximately 40% used aggregators to compare products and reviews.
  • In-store visits were the second step in the journey of 70% of major
    purchase shoppers, and 28% returned and used their mobile device while
    in the store.
  • Nearly one-third researched financing options and 60% decided on
    payment method before entering the store to buy.
  • Online purchasing among major purchase shoppers surveyed rose to 18%
    from 13% last year, driven by product availability, better deals and
    value, and ease and convenience. Music (65%), fitness equipment (46%),
    and electronics (37%) are the top online major purchase categories.
  • Most shoppers (82%) purchased in-store, reflecting the preference of
    buyers who want to interact with a store associate, see the product
    and take it home the same day.

Role of Financing

  • Financing is an important consideration in merchant selection, and
    nearly half of all shoppers surveyed report they would not have made
    the purchase or would have gone to another retailer if financing were
    not available.
  • A higher percentage of respondents who are not Synchrony Bank
    cardholders (43%) reported awareness of financing options compared to
    last year (36%), indicating retailers are better integrating credit
    information across multiple channels.
  • Among Synchrony cardholders surveyed, 78% said they “always” seek
    promotional financing when making a purchase and 90% confirm that
    special promotional financing makes larger purchases more affordable.

More than 2,775 respondents who made a purchase of $500 or more in the
past six months, or planned to make such a purchase, participated in the
survey conducted for Synchrony Financial in June and July 2016 by global
market research company Rothstein Tauber, Inc.

The Synchrony Financial Market Research team provides insights into
consumer attitudes and perceptions toward the retail brand, products and
platforms to improve customer satisfaction. Through the Synchrony
Connect program, Synchrony Financial partners can connect with subject
matter experts to gain knowledge and expertise in non-credit areas that
help them grow, lead and operate their business. More information can be
found at

About Synchrony Financial

Synchrony Financial (NYSE: SYF)
is one of the nation’s premier consumer financial services companies.
Our roots in consumer finance trace back to 1932, and today we are the
largest provider of private label credit cards in the United States
based on purchase volume and receivables.* We provide a range
of credit products through programs we have established with a diverse
group of national and regional retailers, local merchants,
manufacturers, buying groups, industry associations and healthcare
service providers to help generate growth for our partners and offer
financial flexibility to our customers. Through our partners’ over
350,000 locations across the United States and Canada, and their
websites and mobile applications, we offer our customers a variety of
credit products to finance the purchase of goods and services. Synchrony
Financial offers private label and co-branded Dual Card
credit cards, promotional financing and installment lending, loyalty
programs and FDIC-insured savings products through Synchrony Bank. More
information can be found at,,

*Source: The Nilson Report (May 2016, Issue # 1087) – based
on 2015 data.

Editor Note: Graphic data representations are available.

Topics: big ticket, large purchase, financing, credit
cards, merchants, small business, retail, appliances, home furnishings

©2016 Synchrony Bank/Synchrony Financial, All rights reserved.


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