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The future for the bathroom industry

Date Added: 20.05.2019

Budgeting for a new bathroom can often be a real headache for consumers. When buying big ticket items such as cars or sofas, for many the only realistic option is to take out a finance arrangement, but this isn’t the norm for bathroom retailers.


While finance is a payment model that is widely accepted for other major household purchases, giving consumers greater choice and a variety of payment options the bathroom industry has fallen behind.


Even with the average bathroom carrying a price tag of £10k, only 9% of the bathroom retailers, merchants and multi-channel retailers surveyed in our Ideal Industry Report 2018 said they offer a finance facility, although this number has increased slightly since 2017.


Nevertheless, our report also revealed that in the current climate of uncertainty regarding Brexit and the potential for another recession in its wake, fewer consumers are willing to spend their savings; investing heavily in a new bathroom isn’t high on their priority list. In fact, respondents to our survey highlighted that market confidence is down by 10%. With this in mind, is it time for retailers to consider how they support consumers and provide them with confidence to invest in turning their dream bathroom into a reality?


Offering finance options, even short-term arrangements in which nothing is paid for the first three months with no deposit, could help to entice consumers.


Given that the Ideal Industry Report discovered our trade is in good health - more than two thirds of respondents reported 5% annual growth, despite ongoing uncertainty in the market - it’s up to retailers to give consumers the confidence they need to make the purchase.


Although finance is a relatively new development for bathroom retailers, there are a number of retail finance options available, allowing companies to drive their sales goals and provide flexible payment choices for consumers.


Whether online or through a showroom, full payment could take place over a period of one to four years, interest-free or at a fixed APR, providing an affordable, attractive solution for both parties.


There is a range of finance options on the market; the key is to develop packages that suit your consumers and business.

Here are some of the options retailers may like to consider:

  • 0% APR, the preferred choice
  • Fixed monthly payments
  • Buy now, pay later - for example on orders over a certain amount, pay nothing for the first year then the balance is paid off within 48 months
  • Payments made over one to four years

Other popular options retailers could consider include thinking about whether a deposit would be required initially - an upfront payment of 10% is quite common. Would there be a minimum spend limit in order to qualify for credit? Do your consumers need to meet any particular criteria in order to be eligible for finance? Common criteria includes being over the age of 18, having a credit card, and being a UK resident for three years or more.

So, how could offering finance options benefit you as a bathroom retailer? In more ways than you might initially think. Not only will offering alternative payment possibilities make you stand out from the crowd, you could unlock new sales potential. By giving customers the freedom to purchase how and when they want to, within your terms and conditions of course, you will improve the consumer journey and ultimately increase your opportunity to maximise sales.

Finance options help to make a desirable bathroom more attainable for consumers, giving them flexibility to select payment terms that suit their budget, the ability to make a larger investment and achieve that indulgent bathing experience they’ve been dreaming of.

It makes perfect sense for our industry to embrace flexible finance and offer them something new. Is there demand for this kind of finance option? We certainly think so and strongly believe it’s worth exploring further to try give our industry the extra boost it needs in these times of uncertainty.

Do you offer finance, or are you considering it? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Tweet us @idealbathrooms

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The Benefits of an Online Trade Login……

Customers who have a Trading Account with Ideal Bathrooms also have the opportunity to access our online trade platform. This gives access to many great features including the stock check tool; 24/7 online ordering and literature downloads.

As well as full management of your account online including viewing invoices, credits and balances. All of this information is available at the swipe of a finger or a click of mouse anytime, anywhere on any device.


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