Buy Now, Pay Later: It Is Good for eCommerce Websites?
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Is Offering Buy Now Pay Later on an eCommerce Website a Good Idea?

Let’s talk shop, specifically eCommerce.

It’s not just about the product you sell online. It’s also about how customers pay for them.

And here’s where things get interesting. Among the usual suspects like credit cards and digital wallets, there’s a new(ish) player catching everyone’s eye: Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL).

BNPL isn’t just a fancy acronym. It’s changing how people shop online. It’s like layaway for the digital age.

This trend is more than a fad though. It’s actively reshaping shopping carts and checkout experiences across the web.

So, if you have an online store, Buy Now Pay Later is something to look at closely.

But before we fully explore the practicalities of that, let’s first define BNPL and explore recent data on how it’s been used.

What is Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)?

Imagine walking into a store, picking up an item, and instead of paying the full price upfront, you split the cost into smaller, more manageable payments over time.

That’s essentially what Buy Now, Pay Later does in the online shopping world. BNPL is a type of installment loan that’s reshaping the checkout experience in eCommerce.

It allows customers to make a purchase and then spread the cost over several payments, often without interest​​​​​​.

How Does BNPL Work?

When you opt for BNPL at checkout, you’re agreeing to pay for your purchase in installments.

Typically, the first payment is due at checkout, and the remaining payments are scheduled over a set period.

These payments are often interest-free, making BNPL an attractive option for shoppers who need a bit more flexibility with their budget​​​​.

The process is pretty straightforward:

  • Once you select BNPL as your payment method, you’ll usually go through a soft credit check. This is not as invasive as a traditional credit check and won’t impact your credit score.
  • The BNPL provider then breaks down the total cost of your purchase into equal payments. As an example, if you’re buying a pair of boots for $200, you might pay $50 at checkout and the rest in three $50 installments over the next six weeks​​.

Who’s Using BNPL?

BNPL isn’t just for the big-ticket items. It’s becoming a popular choice for everyday purchases, too.

You might have seen names like Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm popping up more and more at your favorite online stores.

These companies are leading the charge in the BNPL space, offering flexible payment solutions that cater to a wide range of shopping needs​​.

BNPL Is Trending: What You Should Know

This year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday weren’t just about doorbuster deals and digital discounts. They were a showcase for the surging popularity of Buy Now, Pay Later.

Here’s the scoop on how BNPL dominated over the busy shopping weekend.

A Surge in Usage

First up, let’s talk numbers. There was a significant 29% increase in BNPL orders on Black Friday in the US in 2023, with shoppers eagerly splitting payments for goodies like personal electronics, TVs, and kitchen appliances​​.

But that’s just the beginning when it comes to the role BNPL played during the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

Record-Breaking Stats

During the Cyber 5 period (the days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday), BNPL spending hit the roof.

We’re talking about a record $38 billion spent online, with a significant chunk of that via BNPL.

Cyber Monday Madness

Cyber Monday itself was an impressive day for BNPL. A jaw-dropping $940 million was spent using BNPL services, marking a 42.5% increase from the previous year.

This wasn’t just about spending more, either. This trend shows a clear preference for more flexible payment options, especially when eyeing those bigger-ticket items​​​​.

Global Transactions

And it’s not just a US phenomenon. Globally, companies like Square and Afterpay noted millions of transactions across all industries, painting a picture of BNPL’s growing reach and influence worldwide​​.

BNPL is growing and will continue to shape how we shop online in the near future. If you run an online store, Buy Now Pay Later is definitely something worth considering.

Up next, we’ll talk about some of the concrete benefits and risks associated with adding BNPL options to your online store.

Benefits and Risks of Offering BNPL for Store Owners

As a store owner, you’re probably eyeing the Buy Now, Pay Later trend and wondering if it’s a golden ticket.

Let’s weigh the pros and cons before you make any drastic decisions.

Pros of OfferingBuy Now Pay Later Options

  • Increase in sales: As we’ve seen from the holiday shopping numbers, offering BNPL can greatly increase sales. Customers are more likely to make a purchase when they know they have the option to pay over time.
  • Attract new customers: By offering BNPL, you open up your store to a whole new customer base that may not have been able to afford your products otherwise. This can also lead to increased customer loyalty as they feel you are providing them with a more accessible shopping experience.
  • No risk for store owners: Unlike traditional credit options, BNPL is not a loan and therefore does not pose any financial risks for store owners. The payment process is handled between the customer and the BNPL provider, leaving you worry-free.

Cons of Offering Buy Now Pay Later Options

  • Higher fees: BNPL providers sometimes charge higher fees than traditional payment methods such as credit cards. This could potentially eat into your profit margins, so it’s important to carefully consider the costs and benefits before adding BNPL options.
  • Increased returns and customer disputes: With BNPL, customers have the option to return items for a full refund even after they have already made some payments. This could lead to increased returns and customer disputes, which can be time-consuming and costly to resolve.
  • Limited options for small businesses: Some BNPL providers may only work with larger, well-established businesses, leaving smaller businesses unable to offer these payment options.

Overall, while offering BNPL options can have its benefits, it’s important to carefully consider the potential drawbacks and weigh them against your business goals.

Understanding Different BNPL Payment Options

Using Buy Now Pay Later for eCommerce requires an understanding of the types available to you.

Not the services or platforms, mind you (though we’ll get to those in just a moment). We’re referring to the way customers will pay for the products they buy through the service.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular:

Pay Later

This classic BNPL option lets customers delay the full payment at the time of purchase, usually without interest.

It’s often called “deferred payment” and can be implemented through various methods, including credit cards and installment plans.

Pay in 4 (or Installments)

The “Pay in 4” model has gained a lot of traction. It’s simple: split the total cost into four equal payments, usually without interest.

The first installment is often due at checkout, with the rest spread out over a few weeks.

Financing

For those big-ticket items, Buy Now Pay Later financing can be a big help. This version extends the payment period longer than the “Pay in 4” model, sometimes adding interest similar to traditional loans.

It offers a longer payment period but watch out for possible additional fees for delayed payments.

What To Look For in Buy Now Pay Later Solutions

When it comes to enhancing your store with a Buy Now Pay Later solution, choosing the right provider matters. A lot.

Brands like Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm have revolutionized the way consumers approach online shopping. But each provider comes with its own set of features, costs, and integration complexities.

To ensure you make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals and customer needs, here are some important factors to consider:

  • Integration compatibility: Ensure the BNPL service integrates smoothly with your current eCommerce platform. Make sure it’s easy to implement and use.
  • Fee structure: Investigate the fees charged by the provider. Understanding how these fees impact your profit margin is a must.
  • Target audience: Choose a provider whose user base matches your store’s target demographic, considering factors like spending habits and location.
  • Payment flexibility: Evaluate the payment terms offered by the provider, such as installment lengths and frequency, to ensure they meet your customers’ needs.
  • Security and compliance: Confirm that the provider adheres to high standards of data security and regulatory compliance, safeguarding both your business and your customers.

Selecting the right BNPL provider requires a balance of these elements to ensure successful integration into your online store.

Top Buy Now Pay Later eCommerce Service Providers

As BNPL gains popularity, more companies are offering the service that you could potentially integrate into your online store.

Here are some top players in the game:

1. Affirm

Affirm

Affirm is a popular option for adding BNPL to your online store. Its integration is straightforward, typically just a few clicks, and aligns with most major platform providers.

For store owners, this means offering a seamless checkout process that includes BNPL as a payment option. Customers get the benefit of transparency and easy-to-understand payment terms.

Affirm’s pay-over-time option combats shopping cart abandonment and drives higher conversion rates.

Affirm offers a range of APRs from 0% to 35.99% on loans, with no hidden fees. The company provides options like interest-free payments every 2 weeks or monthly payments at a set APR, depending on the purchase amount.

Affirm’s “Pay in 4” solution is always interest-free​​​​​​​​. Additionally, Stripe’s processing fees for Affirm transactions are 6% + $0.30 per transaction​.

2. Afterpay

Afterpay

Afterpay offers flexibility and control over payments, catering to businesses of all sizes. Its integration process is quick and straightforward and divides payments into four installments, with the merchant receiving full payment upfront.

Afterpay’s approach promotes responsible spending through features like spending limits and capped late fees.

The service charges merchant fees ranging from 4% to 6%, plus a $0.30 fee per transaction. You’d also be responsible for chargeback fees and providing evidence to support claims.

3. Apple Pay Later

apple pay later

Apple Pay Later brings the trust and technological expertise of Apple to the BNPL market.

With no interest, no fees, and a focus on privacy and security, it offers a responsible spending tool. It allows splitting purchases into four equal payments over six weeks for purchases between $75 and $1,000.

The integration is seamless and quick, requiring no additional apps or passwords. And you can benefit from Apple’s vast user base and the convenience of having all payment information organized in the Wallet app.

Customers receive helpful notifications and one-on-one support, promoting healthy financial habits, too.

As a store owner, Apple Pay Later won’t impose any additional fees. However, standard fees from payment processors or banks still apply, as Apple Pay acts as a go-between for existing credit and debit card transactions.

4. Klarna

klarna

Klarna is a widely recognized Buy Now Pay Later eCommerce option that offers a unique blend of flexibility and security, both for consumers and store owners.

Its main attraction is allowing customers to delay full payment for purchases, either through installment plans or deferring the total amount to a later date. This flexibility can lead to increased average order values for merchants.

Klarna’s features include immediate full payments regardless of the customer’s payment plan, customizable payment options tailored to each store’s needs, easy integration, and insights into customer behaviors and trends.

Merchants using Klarna incur a transaction fee of $0.30 along with a variable percentage fee ranging from 3.29% to 5.99% based on the amount.

Klarna’s Instant Shopping solution involves a $30 monthly product fee, a consistent $0.30 transaction fee, and fees up to 3.29% for onsite and 3.79% for off site sales.

Stripe charges 5.99% + $0.30 for each 4-installment payment as well as 2.99% + $0.30 for Klarna Financing options.

5. PayPal Pay Later

PayPal pay later

PayPal Pay Later is another great option for online shop owners. It provides a range of benefits including increased overall sales and enhanced customer engagement.

It simplifies online transactions by removing price as a barrier, thus encouraging higher average order values and repeat purchases.

PayPal has over 400 million users worldwide so its credibility makes it an even more appealing option as customers will already be familiar and likely have an account.

The standard digital payment processing fee applied by PayPal is 3.49% + $0.49 for each transaction. Notably, this fee is consistent with PayPal’s general transaction fees.

Customers using PayPal’s “Pay Later” options are not subjected to late fees or interest charges.

However, it’s important to note that late payments may be reported to credit bureaus, which is a standard practice for many BNPL services.

6. Sezzle

sezzle

Sezzle provides a multifaceted advantage for eCommerce store owners. It boosts sales growth by expanding access to a wider customer base and enhancing lifecycle marketing, with a notable high percentage of repeat customers.

Particularly appealing to Millennials and Gen Z, Sezzle empowers these younger consumers with financial flexibility and credit-building capabilities.

Sezzle charges a flat fee of $0.30 plus 6% of the transaction price for each purchase. There’s also a $15 minimum monthly processing fee for store owners with less than $300 in Sezzle transactions per month​.

This provider does show commitment to social good, underscored by its B-Corp status. This might make it an attractive option for businesses aiming to integrate purpose-driven practices into their selling points.

7. Zip

zip

Zip offers eCommerce store owners enhanced sales and customer engagement. It enables customers to spread purchase costs over time, leading to higher average order values.

The service also significantly boosts eCommerce conversions, with partner merchants seeing a notable increase in repeat customer rates.

This increase in customer loyalty and repeat purchases further highlights the importance of using BNPL solutions in offering flexibility and appealing to the needs of modern shoppers.

Zip operates by charging a set percentage and a small processing fee for each order processed, without any sign-up costs or monthly fees for merchants​.

Step-by-Step Guide to Integrating BNPL Into SureCart

Integrating Buy Now Pay Later into your SureCart store involves a series of steps.

1. Install and Activate the SureCart Plugin

Skip the first two steps if you already use SureCart. Otherwise, follow us to set up your store.

Go to your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the plugin section, and click on Add New.

Search for “SureCart.”

Then install and activate the SureCart plugin on your WordPress site.

install SureCart

2. Set Up a SureCart Store

If you’re a first-time SureCart user, you’ll need to create a new store. Click on Create New Store within the SureCart plugin and follow the prompts.

Follow our more detailed tutorial on how to set up a SureCart store if this is your first time.

During this process, you’ll complete tasks like:

  • Choosing your brand’s color scheme.
  • Setting the default currency for your store.
  • Deciding whether to import example data to your store or start from scratch.
  • Entering a preferred email address for receiving store notifications and updates.

You’ll also complete the setup by providing your details like name and email, and selecting a SureCart plan for your store.

3. Connect a Payment Gateway

You can connect a payment gateway, such as Stripe or PayPal, during the initial setup or do it later. This is crucial for enabling BNPL options since they are often activated through payment processors.

surecart payment processors

In this case, you’ll need to enable Stripe to add Buy Now Pay Later payment options to your online store.

4. Enable Buy Now Pay Later Options in Stripe

To enable Buy Now Pay Later options in Stripe, you’ll need to first log into your Stripe account.

Click on the settings icon in the top right corner of your Stripe dashboard.

Navigate to the Payment Methods section.

Stripe payment methods

Scroll down to the Buy Now, Pay Later section and find Klarna.

adding klarna with stripe

Click the Turn On button.

For some payment methods, especially bank debit cards, you might receive a prompt about enabling webhooks.

In SureCart, this is usually set up automatically when you connect SureCart to Stripe.

Now, go back to your website where SureCart is installed.

  • Navigate to SureCart settings and then to the Advanced section.
  • Find the option labeled Use the Stripe Payment Element and toggle it on.
  • Save your changes.
stripe payment element

This step changes the visual appearance of Stripe payments, enabling the accordion-style selector for different payment methods.

5. Test Your Payment Form

Visit your payment form to see the changes.

The Stripe payment element creates an accordion for selecting different payment methods.

testing the stripe form

Test the form in different modes (especially in test mode) to ensure all payment methods, including BNPL options, are working correctly.

Are Buy Now Pay Later Solutions Right for Your Online Store?

Offering BNPL options like Affirm, Afterpay, or Klarna can increase your sales, enhance customer satisfaction, and boost customer loyalty by providing a more flexible shopping experience.

Are you ready to elevate your eCommerce experience with BNPL? Look no further than SureCart.

SureCart simplifies the integration process on your WordPress site, making it seamless and hassle-free.

With SureCart, you can confidently offer your customers the flexibility and convenience of BNPL services, positioning your business for greater success.

Do you offer BNPL in your store? Has it increased sales? Tell us about it in the comments!

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

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