Should you use buy now pay later for your retail business?

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) financing has become increasingly popular among consumers and retailers alike.

Should You Use Buy Now Pay Later For Your Retail Business?

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) financing has become increasingly popular among consumers and retailers alike. This payment method allows customers to purchase items and pay for them in smaller installments over a specified period, often with no interest or credit check required. As a retailer, you may be considering whether BNPL is the right choice for your business. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of BNPL financing for retail businesses, as well as best practices for implementing this payment option.


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Advantages of BNPL Financing for Retail Businesses

1. Higher conversion rate

Offering BNPL financing can help increase your conversion rate by making purchases more affordable for customers who may not have the funds available upfront. This can lead to a higher number of completed transactions and increased revenue.for your business. In addition, BNPL financing can also help attract new customers who are looking for flexible payment options and may not have considered purchasing from your business otherwise. BNPL financing providers often handle the risk of non-payment, reducing the financial risk for your business. Overall, offering BNPL financing can be a smart strategy to boost sales and grow your business.

2. Wider audience

By providing flexible payment options, you can attract a broader range of customers, including younger individuals and those with limited credit history. This can help expand your customer base and potentially increase sales volume. Additionally, offering payment plans or financing options can make larger purchases more accessible to customers who may not have the funds upfront.

Doing so, you are not only catering to a wider audience but also establishing a reputation as a business that cares about its customers’ needs and financial situations. This can help build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business. Furthermore, word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers can also attract new customers to your business.


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3. Affordable, flexible payments for high-value products

BNPL financing can make expensive items more accessible to customers by breaking down the cost into smaller, manageable installments. This can encourage customers to make larger purchases they might not have considered otherwise, especially if they are on a tight budget. With BNPL financing, customers can enjoy the benefits of owning high-value products without having to pay the full amount upfront.

This not only makes shopping more convenient and affordable, but it can also improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. In addition, BNPL financing can be a great marketing tool for retailers, as it can help attract new customers and increase sales. By offering flexible payment options, retailers can differentiate themselves from their competitors and provide a valuable service that meets the needs of today’s consumers.

4. Higher average order value

Research has shown that offering BNPL financing can lead to an increase in average order value, as customers are more likely to make higher-value purchases when they can spread the cost over time. This is because BNPL financing makes it easier for customers to afford products that may have been previously out of their budget. By breaking up the cost into smaller, more manageable payments, customers are able to purchase higher-value items without worrying about the immediate financial burden.

In addition, offering BNPL financing can also attract new customers who may have been hesitant to make a purchase due to the high upfront cost. This not only leads to higher average order value but can also increase customer loyalty and retention. However, it’s important for businesses to carefully consider the potential risks and costs associated with offering BNPL financing and ensure they have proper measures in place to mitigate any negative impacts.

5. Improved customer experience

Providing flexible payment options can enhance the overall shopping experience for your customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. In addition to flexible payment options, there are other ways you can improve your customers’ shopping experience. One way is by providing personalized recommendations based on their purchase history or browsing behavior.

This can help them discover new products they may be interested in and make the shopping process easier. Another way is by offering fast and reliable shipping options, which can reduce the amount of time customers have to wait for their orders to arrive. Additionally, having a user-friendly website or mobile app with clear product descriptions and easy navigation can also contribute to an improved customer experience.

Disadvantages of BNPL Financing for Retail Businesses

1. Integration challenges

Implementing BNPL financing into your existing payment system may require specialized tools and technology, which can add to your expenses. You may need to invest in new software and hardware, as well as train your staff to use these tools effectively. Additionally, integrating BNPL financing may require significant changes to your existing payment system, which can be time-consuming and may require outside expertise.

It is important to carefully consider the costs and benefits of implementing BNPL financing, and to ensure that it aligns with your overall business strategy and goals. In some cases, it may make more sense to partner with a third-party provider that specializes in BNPL financing, rather than attempting to build and manage the system in-house.

2. Accreditation challenges

Not all businesses may qualify for BNPL financing, and certain industries may be ineligible for this payment option. For example, businesses that operate in the firearms industry may not be eligible for BNPL financing due to legal and regulatory restrictions. Additionally, businesses with a poor credit history or insufficient cash flow may also have difficulty obtaining accreditation for BNPL financing.

In such cases, alternative financing options such as traditional loans or lines of credit may be more suitable. Moreover, businesses need to ensure that they fully understand the terms and conditions of BNPL financing, including interest rates, repayment schedules, and any associated fees, before signing up for this payment option. This will help avoid any potential financial challenges or unexpected costs down the line.

3. Higher fees for merchants

BNPL providers typically charge retailers fees ranging from 2-6% of the purchase amount, which can be higher than traditional payment methods, such as credit or debit cards. These fees are often passed on to the consumer in the form of higher product prices. While BNPL providers argue that their services offer convenience and flexibility to consumers, critics argue that the high fees can be detrimental to small businesses and low-income consumers who may not have access to traditional credit options.

Some experts suggest that merchants should carefully consider the costs and benefits of offering BNPL options to their customers, and weigh them against other payment methods before making a decision. Additionally, regulators are beginning to scrutinize the BNPL industry more closely to ensure that consumers are being treated fairly and that the industry is operating in a transparent and responsible manner.

4. Encouraging consumer debt

BNPL financing can potentially lead customers to overspend and accumulate debt, which may negatively impact their financial situation and credit score. While BNPL financing can offer convenience and flexibility for customers, it’s important to consider the potential downsides before making a purchase. Customers should assess their ability to repay the debt on time and in full, as missed payments or high balances can have long-term consequences.

It’s also worth exploring alternative financing options, such as personal loans or credit cards with lower interest rates, to avoid accumulating unwanted debt. Ultimately, responsible spending habits and financial planning are crucial for maintaining a healthy financial situation.

5. Potential risks associated with fraud, nonpayment, and late payments

As a retailer, you may face challenges in dealing with fraudulent transactions, customers who fail to make payments, and those who make late payments. These risks can have a significant impact on your business’s financial health and reputation if not properly addressed. One potential risk associated with fraud is the loss of revenue from chargebacks, which can occur when a customer disputes a transaction they did not authorize. This can result in a fee being charged to your business, as well as the loss of the merchandise sold.

Best Practices for Implementing BNPL Financing for Retail Businesses

1. Choose a reputable BNPL provider

Research various BNPL providers and select one that offers favorable terms, high approval rates, and easy integration with your existing payment system. Some reputable BNPL providers that you may consider include Klarna, Afterpay, Affirm, and QuadPay. Each of these providers offers different terms and features, so it’s important to compare them to find the one that fits your needs best.

Klarna is a well-established provider that offers flexible payment options, high approval rates, and easy integration with popular e-commerce platforms. Afterpay is another popular provider that allows users to split purchases into four interest-free payments over six weeks. Affirm offers a similar service, but with longer repayment terms and variable interest rates based on creditworthiness. QuadPay is another provider that offers interest-free installment plans for purchases up to $1,500.

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2. Clearly display BNPL options

Make sure to prominently display BNPL financing options on your website and in-store signage to inform customers about this payment method early in their shopping journey. This will not only help customers make informed decisions about their purchases but also increase the likelihood of them choosing BNPL as their preferred payment option.

In addition to displaying the BNPL options, it’s also essential to provide clear and concise information about the terms and conditions associated with this payment method. This includes details such as interest rates, late fees, and repayment schedules, which can help customers avoid any surprises down the line.

3. Train your staff

Ensure that your employees are knowledgeable about BNPL financing and can effectively explain the process to customers. This will not only help customers understand the process better, but it will also help them make informed decisions about their purchases. In addition, well-informed employees can provide customers with guidance on the best financing options available to them based on their needs and financial situation. Providing ongoing training and support for your staff in this area can also help increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as they will feel confident in their purchases and the information provided to them by your team.

4. Offer multiple payment plans

Provide customers with a variety of installment options to cater to their individual needs and preferences. This can include monthly, bi-weekly, or even weekly payment plans. By doing so, customers will have the flexibility to choose a payment plan that aligns with their financial situation and budget.

Additionally, offering multiple payment plans can increase the likelihood of customers making their payments on time, which can ultimately benefit your business by reducing the risk of late payments and defaults. Providing customers with the option to pay through different methods, such as credit or debit cards, PayPal, or bank transfers can also enhance their convenience and satisfaction.

5. Monitor and adjust your strategy

Regularly review the performance of your BNPL financing program and make adjustments as needed to optimize its effectiveness. This could involve analyzing data on customer behavior and payment patterns to identify areas where improvements could be made.

For example, you might notice that customers are struggling to make payments on time, so you could consider offering more flexible payment options or providing reminders to help them stay on track. Alternatively, you may find that certain products or promotions are particularly popular among BNPL users, in which case you could focus your marketing efforts on these areas.

Bottom Line

BNPL financing can offer numerous benefits for retail businesses, including increased sales, higher average order values, and improved customer satisfaction. However, it is essential to carefully consider the potential drawbacks and challenges associated with this payment method. Implementing best practices and choosing a reliable BNPL provider, you can maximize the advantages of this financing option while minimizing the risks. Ultimately, the decision to offer BNPL financing will depend on your specific business needs and goals.

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