If you run an online store, you’ve probably heard of the “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) option that exploded alongside the eCommerce retail boom during the pandemic. As online stores adjust to customer demands and preferred payment options, many eCommerce stores have begun offering customer-friendly and flexible pay later services.
These solutions are quickly increasing in popularity because users don’t pay interest or need a credit check to qualify. They also integrate directly with eCommerce platforms. Pay later options are most common amongst millennials who are also the majority of online shoppers. Usage will likely continue to increase as consumers try to avoid accumulating extra debt or incurring credit card interest. This explains why more online stores have adopted this flexible payment option, which is currently used by more than one-third of U.S customers.
What is “Buy Now, Pay Later?”
As the name suggests, “Buy Now, Pay Later” is a third-party solution that offers flexible payment plans to online shoppers. All without interest or hidden fees. Most of these providers have flexible financing options and simple installments to suit customer needs. This option benefits both customers and online store owners, as stores get paid upfront. BNPL service providers take away customer’s credit risk, freeing your business from having to follow up on payment collection.
Which are the Best “Buy Now, Pay Later” Tools?
More BNPL service providers have entered the market as this service gains popularity. However, you should determine the payment options offered by the provider to your customers. While most providers have varying solutions, common plans include;
Interest-free payment of installments (usually four equal installments)
Payment in 30 days
6 to 36 months financing
The best solution for your business comes down to customer purchase behavior and sales margins. Among the many providers, below are common BNPL providers that integrate with leading eCommerce platforms seamlessly.
Afterpay is a popular BNPL tool used by most big-box retailers, such as Sketchers, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People. The solution allows consumers the flexibility of paying their orders in four payments. These payments occur once every two weeks. The plan also has no interest or additional fees if the customer makes payments on time. If a customer is late paying, they then get charged a late fee.
Affirm is an omnichannel flexible payment solution with no hidden fees. However, Affirm does have a 0 – 30% interest charge for customers who make big-ticket purchases. The tool offers extended financing for up to 36 months and integrates with BigCommerce, Wix, Shopify, Bolt, WooCommerce, and other platforms. This is a great option for eCommerce stores selling higher ticket items.
Klarna is a personalized BNPL solution that offers four interest-free payments to customers. The tool submits payments to businesses upfront and doesn’t affect customers’ credit ratings. Klarna offers two payment options; financed payments of 30 days and 6 to 36-month financing. The latter payment option is best for businesses that sell large items, such as gym equipment and furniture.
Growth in Use of Buy Now, Pay Later Options
Even as physical retail shops open, online shopping won’t slow down. Customers look for convenience and will shop and pay for their products in a way that suits them. Even though BNPL thrived alongside eCommerce businesses during the pandemic, BNPL is also becoming part of the in-store shopping experience. Several brick-and-mortar retail stores have also begun to offer pay later options at checkout. Therefore, customers are most likely going to maintain their appetite for BNPL solutions in their everyday online or offline purchases.
Thousands of online stores have already integrated flexible pay later services as payment options for their customers. Actually, Buy Now, Pay Later is expected to generate more than $680 billion by 2025. Therefore, you are missing out if you haven’t considered this payment option for your business. Buy Now, Pay Later not only improves your profits but can also impact your customer’s lifetime value by eliminating purchasing barriers.
- Mike Gingerich
- United States