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Tale of Two Strategies: Discounting v. Financing Promotions

In this business climate, should retailers offer deep discounts or promote financing offers?

Inflation is at the highest rate it has been in more than 40 years and consumers are feeling more than a pinch in their pockets. Surprising to some, including Quinn, when it comes to shoppers, consumers are more likely to purchase based on the financing options available more than the deep discounts one advertises. 

In this episode, Mark Kinsley and Mark Quinn analyze the impact of inflation and how more and more shoppers are turning to credit options as their savings accounts dwindle and their budgets get tighter, and how a credit option actually connects you with a consumer more than a basic purchase with cash. Plus, they provide powerful conversation pitches to help make the sale relatable to the consumer and their life.


Mark Kinsley: It is a tale of two strategies. Are you going to discount heavily or strong financing offers? We have real insights into which one is working best right now. The Dos Marcos Show begins right now.

Mark Kinsley: Welcome to The Dos Marcos Show. He’s Mark Quinn. I’m Mark Kinsley, and this is an episode I’m so excited about because we have real insights about retailers.

Top 100 retail. That are promoting with discounts or promoting with financing offers. Before we get there though, Quinn, uh, nice job on the wardrobe change. You had some dribbles? Yeah. Th

Mark Quinn: well, I had spilled crap all over me, so I’m like, I can’t, I can’t do a show like that. So your shirt says Goose. So should I get one that says, Maverick, you think that would be cool?

You like that shirt? What is that? Like a bed bug? Looks like a

Mark Kinsley: cockroach. No Gooses. Yeah, it’s got a flat’s a bee. I don’t really know what it means. It’s a B, but I was at the GOOSE concert. It’s one of my favorite bands. And for the first time in their history, they came and played in Arkansas. They were at Fayetteville, at J’S Live.

And so I went with some of my boys down to the Goose concert and they just blew the doors off of it. They’re a jam band and they’re super talented. A lot of people like stuff, you know, Phish and some of those bands. Oh yeah.

Mark Quinn: So you’re like a

Mark Kinsley: groupie, in other words. Yeah. Yeah. I’m a Groover man. I just get in there and groove with everybody.


Mark Quinn: when they’re all together and you go hang out with them after the shows and take shots of tequila and stuff, do you, if they’re all collectively together, do you call them the

Mark Kinsley: geese, ? I do. I call them the geese and, and, uh, I try not to wear their shirt to those gatherings because then I just to look like a fanboy.

Mark Quinn: Well, yeah, but, but do they ever, do you ever see them like sporting the dis Marcos t-shirt or something like

Mark Kinsley: that? Yeah, naturally. Of course. They’re fans naturally. I mean, we do, They’re, it’s the Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress podcast. They gotta know about us, us check this out according to us as well. Um, yes.

What do you think retailers out there? Some big retailers are discounting heavily. And then in a Tale of two strategies, you have another group that’s promoting strong financing offers, like same as cash type offers. So if you were gonna just say, at face value, heavy discounts or strong financing, which of these.

Is working best with consumers right now.

Mark Quinn: Wow. Either or. I don’t know that it isn’t either or. I think it’s a yes. And I think that, um, because of where everything is now, I think people are trying to figure out any way they can to bring consumers to the table. And so I think it’s deep discounts. I think it’s focus on promotional categories.

I think it’s, uh, you know, it, it, it’s sweetening the pot on the financing offers. I mean, the people are trying everything they.

Mark Kinsley: Well, they are trying everything they can. Anecdotally, I will tell you. But

Mark Quinn: you think there’s a ear or so? You know, so is it

Mark Kinsley: Finance offers Anecdotally, I will tell you there is a clear winner.

Okay. And the clear winner is promoting strong financing offers. Say it. I, So there you go. It costs less. Number one, it costs less to. Strong financing offers, same as cash style offers, as opposed to offering like heavy discounts or 20% discounts, that’s really gonna hit your bottom line versus a financing offer.

And here’s the deal, here’s what I think’s going on at the consumer’s mind at this point. People understand that they’ve delayed buying a home, or maybe they’re seeing just interest rates being reported on TV heavily. Being at all time highs, not all time highs, but all time highs for some people who are, you know, have, have been in the credit market during their, their, their lives.

So these really high interest rates, the media attention, the delays in home buying. This is causing people to say, Well, if I’m gonna get financing, I’ve gotta make sure it’s really good financing. And so these same as cash offers and these aggressive financing offers are driving more business for retailers.

Does it surprise you? It

Mark Quinn: doesn’t surprise me. I, um, you know what, what’s an in, what’s interesting in the commentary, I think, is that if you have a, you know, a deep discount on product, that’s a certainty that you’re gonna take the hit. If you, if you blow hard on financing deals, it’s not a certainty, meaning some people aren’t gonna do it.

Some people will opt in for cash, they’ll get, you know, you get ’em in the door, you get ’em in there thinking, Oh, cool, we’ll just like throw it on a card, you know, six months, no interest, a year, no interest, whatever it is. But you know, maybe they get there and they make a different decision. So it’s not a hundred percent right.

So I can see that. And you know, I was reading something and I’m scanning it right now, but you know, more people, um, are putting debt onto their credit cards. Um, and personal savings is dropping drastically. And I think that’s just, you know, pretty. Expected given inflation and things like that. So yeah, I think people are really relying more on credit.

I totally get that. And by the way, did you just make this up Kinsley or are you talking about data points that you may actually be able to quantify?

Mark Kinsley: Gwen, I did say multiple times. Anecdotally. Anecdotally, anecdotal now, no, but I, we

Mark Quinn: did some research on, on finding.

Mark Kinsley: This is on good authority. Now I’m talking about in our category too.

I’m talking about furniture and mattresses mainly in the mattress side of the business. Anecdotally, top 100 retailers, you know, it was a tale of two strategies. One was going after deep discounts, right? Separately. You know, we have visibility into these businesses and how they’re doing separately. One was just going after financing offers, not discounting, and they were the clear winner.

And you know, the other thing about the financing piece of the puzzle, of course, You know, people, you probably heard the message for Genesis at the very beginning of this show, learned a ton from them about, uh, secondary financing and how, you know, you got a lot of people out there that want to get this problem solved all at once.

Meaning they wanna get the furniture, they want to get the mattress, they want to get the headboard they want, get it all done. And if they have this line of credit that’s available, then they’re gonna be able to solve that problem now, meaning you got ’em in the door. Thankfully now that they’re in the door, they gotta be able to have the money to buy all the things and do it all at once.

And that’s where that credit piece comes, comes into play. And then, you know, the really smart retailers that I’ve seen are taking their credit profiles and they’re re-engaging the consumer and saying, Hey, you still got a thousand bucks on here on, on your line of credit. And you previously, you know, bought.

Mattress for example, do you need to, you know, get the adjustable base or that’s just one example. You know, if you get a dining room set and you know, you get some, you know, sideboard or a buffet or whatever it might be, so using that credit profile to create recommendations on logical extensions of those purchases, it’s really smart.

Well, I think clearly financing is working right.

Mark Quinn: Yeah. And it connects you to the consumer, right? I mean, they open an account and now they’re, they’re in your universe. And so you have the ability to speak to them and to market to them thanks to the credit card. Um, and yeah, I was kidding you. I, cuz I know we’ve done some research.

I thought you were referencing one of the juicy nuggets that we got out of our research, so that’s why I was setting you up. But, uh, my bad , that’s where I was going with that . I wasn’t trying to call you out for bullshit. You don’t even know what you’re talking about. And that wasn’t, that wasn’t the point.

Although I’m not above that. I’m not above that, but, um, Well, no

Mark Kinsley: man, I think. Usually we kind of, you know, protect each other whenever you Yeah. Right. You smell a little bullshit, you’re like, All right, I gotta help Kinsley out here. . Yeah.

Mark Quinn: Yeah. I really thought you were gonna go. As a matter of fact, Quinn, and pop up the slide that showed 87% of the consumers said this.

That’s what I thought you were going to do. So , that’s

Mark Kinsley: hilarious. Hey man, just remember my bad. You gotta be, you gotta be maverick if I’m gonna be your goose.

Mark Quinn: Okay. I thought I was your wingman, bro. I thought I had you. I really did. Um, no, but, uh, we have done a lot of research around finance and we’ve had a lot of those guys on the shows recently, and so I think it’s an interesting thing.

I think it’s always a big part of our business. Right. Um, uh, the mattress category and big ticket. The cool thing about financing too is when you get that open to buy from the consumer because of their credit card, um, then all of a sudden, uh, price points can. Because now they know that they’ve got like, you know, and then you know, a lot of guys Kinsley, I like making it bite size or site, you know, like snackable content.

So they’re saying, Hey man, like that’s, that’s less than a dollar a day. You can be in that bed, like that kind of language. So the consumer goes, Wow, okay, so would I give a dollar a day to sleep on that bed? That is going to deliver a different quality of life for me and my family. Hail yes, where do I go?

And if you’re connecting those two things, then even better. Yeah,

Mark Kinsley: it’s a great way to break it down, make it palatable. Um, yeah, I’ve learned a ton about financing. It’s just such a huge part of our business too. And, and I think one thing I’ve learned is that you also need all these different financing options because you got your prime.

You got, you know, your secondary and your tertiary, but a lot of people need financing. And if you look at some, some businesses that you would not believe, , the amount of volume they do in the mattress category. You’re talking about companies that are basically financing companies, and those are the rent to own operations.

Oh, yeah. These Rent to Own operations are basically built around this entire idea of providing a level of financing for people who need different products. And so if you look at those businesses a little bit closer and understand how they operate and how they talk to consumer, the language they. The ability to build ticket, all those different things.

These are basically financing companies first that, uh, you know, offer product. So there’s a lot there to unpack, especially as, you know, we head into, you know, or times of uncertainty or maybe you’re living in times of uncertainty. Uh, I think it’s one of those moments where you gotta lean in and get more creative, you know?

And speaking of that, it, we, we, we got a couple of episodes. Okay. Yeah, go ahead. We got a couple of episodes. Hey. You just keep flying Maverick. Okay, I’m flying. Got a

Mark Quinn: couple I way to leave the creative comment, so I’ll circle back to that. So finish your thought. No,

Mark Kinsley: ahead. It’s, let’s, let’s go right there. I was about to make a smooth transition, but now it’s all

Mark Quinn: rocks.

I, I see. Now I sensed that you were gonna transition. So see that’s me putting on my like co-pilot seat here. And I didn’t want you to transition just yet because. You said creativity and I, I was gonna make the comment that qualify, right? We talked about Genesis and Genesis and the research and how much we’ve been learning about the finance space, and there’s real innovation in it also, right?

Because of what qualify is doing and the way they’re getting the. That waterfall down and making it super easy for the consumer to have the experience. And they’re really focused on the customer journey. And one, you know, one, you know, like look into their credit and then it matches them with the perfect fin finance vehicle.

So we’re lucky to get to learn from both of those guys. So just a little, a little, uh, a little props out there to qualify. And Boomer, I can’t hear you.

Mark Kinsley: I was hearing from Trent Ramer also about qualify, and he said they’ve got some of the best trainers and it’s completely changed the way that he thinks about speaking to the consumer based on the trainee.

He got around financing and I’m like, Man, if you could take Trent Ramer to school and anything when it comes to retail. And talking to the consumer, you know, that there’s something magical happening. Um, and it, it was just small adjustments in process and language that opened up all these different possibilities for the consumer.

So maybe we can get ’em on at some point to talk more specifics on that. Cause I know it’s a little bit big. Sure. Uh, but it is something to lean into, especially get with your financing partners and say, Hey, you know, help us get creative here. You know, what can. Help us understand about the consumer, our training process, or you know, the door to desk that gets us, um, you know, more business.

So, and, and what, what I was gonna say about leaning into, you know, times of uncertainty, uh, if you haven’t checked out the furniture, uh, appliances and mattress marketing show, the Fam Marketing Show, uh, Adrian and I host that and we. Eric Grimley with Esquire advertising on the show recently, and a couple of these episodes are gonna come out soon, so definitely subscribe and get connected.

But there is some absolute fire of episodes that are gonna come out. And one of the things we talked about with Eric was this idea of recession proofing your advertising. So we talked about financing, but he is talking about recession proofing your advertising, but he gets into this idea. Back into two.

In 2008, whenever the economic recession hit and we had this major global financial crisis back then Ashley Furniture was, was big, but they weren’t the behemoth that they are now. And what did they do differently than many other companies? They leaned into their advertising, their product development, their market.

Building their business. And so we talk about this all the time, but now’s the time to actually lean into building your business. Because on the other side of it, if you stay lean and mean and you stay aggressive and you use these, you know, financing offers to grow your business and you gain more consumers, you gain more market share.

On the other side of it, the odds are pretty good that some people are not gonna last. I’m starting to see some of that data as. And that means you’re gonna come out stronger and better and, and ready to capture, you know, more of the people in the market, uh, that you could serve.

Mark Quinn: You know, Mark, I’m so glad you brought that up.

Number one. I cannot wait to listen to that show. And, and by the way, not for nothing. Congratulations to you and Adrian. Really more Adrian, I think she’s carrying you quite honestly, but congratulations. She is isn. Yeah. Yeah. . There you go. Um, no, she’s, she’s so great. Right. Um, but anyway, uh, the, the growth you’ve already had on that show and the audience as you guys have.

Uh, uh, attract really makes me happy and it’s great because you guys are putting out great content there. But anyway, neither mine, but neither here nor there. Um, talking about Eric though, um, I wanna hear that show. I’m so interested in what they’re doing. I know they’re on the front line. Uh, they’re doing some really innovation stuff for marketing and advertising.

I am so excited. I have so many questions and I wanna, uh, I want to listen in on that show, uh, because that is the future, the way. They communicate to people and it is an attention based economy and the way they’re breaking in and and meeting people where they are. It’s freaking brilliant and I cannot wait.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah, it’s really cool. And for those that don’t know, Eric is the CEO of Esquire advertising, and they do a ton around device targeting so they know who’s in market shopping for furniture and mattresses, and they’re able to connect with consumers. We’ve got a, the episode that’s actually gonna be. Uh, this Friday, actually, this Thursday, is all around this idea of how do you get into advertising with streaming tv?

And it’s such a pain and there are so many different hands in the honey pot that it gets really expensive. But this is a medium that so many furniture and mattress retailers built their businesses on tv. They know how to make great creative. They know how to make promotions. They know these days, they need to understand that they’re actually driving traffic to your website first.

That’s where consumers are gonna starve versus your store. But how do you cost effectively target people who are sending off signals via their cell phone that I’m in the market for a mattress. How do you find them? Well, Squire advertising knows how to do it, and now they’ve integrated with Roku, so their data is fully integrated Roku.

Well, Roku pushes out on all the different apps and all the different streaming platforms so you can serve up ads to the right person and not spend a ton of money. They’re getting people into this market for like 1500 bucks. Whereas streaming TV in the past was so, uh, unbelievably expensive. And then on top of that, here’s the real crem de la creme.

They’re able to map back the results of your streaming TV ads and connect it to purchase behavior so they know if somebody actually come into your store, came into your store and purchas.

Mark Quinn: You know, I, I was talking, uh, to Scott at Google about a lot of trends around this stuff in geofencing and being very specific, and he was kind of mimicking some or mirroring some of that kinsley.

What I love about Desco thing is they’ve got the streaming. So you have broadcast, right? And then they tighten it up into the funnel of like, literally like geofencing, the actual customer. So you kind of get the top, you get the top of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel with them. And so I think that’s really, um, Uh, compelling, especially with what you were saying at 1500 bucks.

I That’s pretty amazing.

Mark Kinsley: Yeah. Take a deeper dive with us, head over and, uh, you know, get the fam marketing show. You can. If you just subscribe to the newsletter, you’ll get it. So go to and subscribe and, uh, I, Hey, I know we covered some ground in terms of talking about, uh, you know, we started off talking about discounting heavy versus promoting strong financing offers.

It is a tale of two strateg. Let us know what’s working for you right now. Head over to, you know, LinkedIn. You can send us an email, you can chat with us. You know, go and, and, uh, actually text us on our website. I wanna know, are you discounting and it’s working or are you promoting strong, strong financing it and it’s working, or are you doing something completely different that we need to know about

All right, come on, give up the goods. We want to talk about it. All right, Maverick.

Mark Quinn: All right, Gu. Hey, listen everybody, thanks for listening. No matter where you listen, treadmills, gyms, in the shower, shower, it doesn’t matter. Just, uh, thanks for tuning in and leave us a review. And most importantly, tell somebody cuz we want ’em here.

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