Should you be offering your customers ‘buy now pay later’ options?
There was a time when the concept of delayed gratification was highly regarded, but in the current generation of instant gratification through digital channels, waiting till you can afford to buy something before you actually buy it is no longer the way that many of us shop.
Why? Because we can get it right now – either through the use of credit cards or through payment software like AfterPay, LayBuy, Zip and more.
It seems that new options pop up daily, and they are right there when you are browsing retail websites, tempting you, making things seem more affordable because you can spread out the cost into 4 easy payments or 6 or 10 payments even.
There are some downsides to using these tools as a customer – including the fact that you can’t determine when those payments will occur – the platform determines that for you. So that means it might not coincide with when you actually have funds in the credit card you have linked your account to.
And if you don’t have funds in the account, you will be pinged a $10 fee for overdue payments. So even though they are pitched as being interest free, if you don’t ensure the funds are available, the costs will start adding up quickly.
Should you add this functionality for your customers?
As a retailer with an ecommerce site, should you add this option for your customers to be able to break down their payments for your products?
We can tell you, as an agency working with a number of ecommerce sites, that adding this payment option does increase your online sales, so it is definitely worth considering.
We are seeing more and more enquiries from potential customers to brands who don’t currently offer payment options, if they are going to add them. Even for things like food products, and even for items that are relatively low cost per unit.
One of the benefits for the customer of an afterpay type option is that they can buy a larger quantity of your products with only one delivery/shipping charge. If you charge by weight, this is still going to be a larger cost for the customer, but if you have a flat rate shipping fee, then your customers will benefit from putting in a larger order.
So keep an eye on your shipping costs if you do add this to your site, and ensure that you are not losing money through the way you have your shipping structured.
We are interested to hear from businesses who are using these tools in terms of the impact it has had on your sales – and any pros or cons you have discovered to date.
If you have any questions about this article or want to share your experiences, then please feel free to contact us.