Table of contents
This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.
For many consumers cash can be inconvenient, but credit cards can be intimidating and confusing. Flexible payment options like buy now, pay later (BNPL) are emerging as an attractive option for customers looking to spread out their payments over time while still providing opportunities to build credit.
BNPL payment solutions, like Afterpay, allow consumers to pay a fraction of an item’s cost and then pay off the balance in four interest-free installments over a six-week period. Consumers get immediate access to the product without paying the total price upfront, and retailers receive full payment for the item upfront because the BNPL provider takes care of credit collection. So, it’s no surprise that BNPL services are becoming increasingly popular. An Ascent survey found that 50% of consumers have used a buy now, pay later service, while 39% of those who have never used BNPL say they’re likely to use it within the next six months. This presents a prime opportunity for businesses.
If you’re considering buy now, pay later payment options for your physical store, then here’s all you need to know about the benefits of offering BNPL in-store and how to get started.
How in-store BNPL improves the shopping experience for your customers
Although buy now, pay later services started as an eCommerce offering, most service providers are currently expanding offline. Solutions like Afterpay now enable sellers to offer BNPL in-store so shoppers can access their products right away. Offering BNPL in-store improves the shopping experience for your customers in so many ways:
1. Higher spending power
Customers can buy big-ticket items without paying the total price upfront. Studies show that customers spend more money when given a BNPL option. For example, buyers who use Afterpay spend 40% more per transaction than traditional buyers. For higher ticket items that sell at a slower rate, BNPL can enable more customers to purchase those items and allow businesses to move that inventory quicker.
2. Greater payment flexibility
PYMNTS found that consumers aged 22 to 44 have expressed interest in breaking large purchases into smaller monthly payments, making them prime targets for buy now, pay later services. With BNPL, your customers can make small, interest-free payments as long as they make payments on time.
3. Convenience and omnichannel support
Customers only need to pay a small initial sum to access the product and they can choose a payment method that’s most suitable for them. Plus, BNPL providers now support in-store payments, so customers can take advantage of BNPL offers whether they are shopping online or in-store. This means you can deliver a seamless omnichannel experience.
4. Improved control and transparency
Credit cards often have hidden charges. With BNPL, customers know what to expect and completely control their payment options. This gives customers the confidence to make those large-ticket purchases that can give a huge boost to your business revenue.
5. Simplified payment process
BNPL is quick and easy to use. BNPL solutions, like Afterpay, integrate seamlessly with existing eCommerce platforms like Square, so there’s no learning curve for customers. On your end, this means you can activate your preferred BNPL payment option at the click of a button.
How to implement buy now, pay later in-store
The first step is signing up with a BNPL provider. Consider choosing a BNPL provider that integrates with your existing point-of-sale or payment system. This will save you the hassle of switching to a different payment provider or setting up time-consuming custom integrations.
For example, Aftepay integrates seamlessly with several Square products and services, including Square Point of Sale. Eligible sellers only need to toggle on Afterpay acceptance in their Square dashboard to enable the buy now, pay later option. Once set up, your customers can easily select Afterpay when paying for in-store purchases.
Communicating to customers how to use BNPL in-store
Once you’ve set up buy now, pay later, the next step is to get customers to use it when making payments in-store. If customers don’t know you offer a BNPL option, they won’t use it! Here are some ways to spread the word:
Use prominent BNPL signage in-store
Place BNPL signage in strategic areas of your store. Check your vendor’s website for logos and other downloadable assets you can use to create simple custom graphics. For example, Afterpay offers a collection of retailer resources, including a downloadable retailer kit with beautifully designed “Now in-store” banners.
Some of the signage options to consider are:
- A-frame sidewalk signs
- Window decals and sticks
- Countertop signs, fliers, or brochure
Announce it online
Announce the payment option on all of your online marketing channels, such as your website, social media channels, and email newsletters. For example, you can create a simple banner on your website or a detailed FAQ page to explain the benefits and terms to your customers. You can also send an email newsletter and even offer a special deal to customers who use the BNPL option.
Get listed in your provider’s directory
Most buy now, pay later service providers maintain a directory of sellers who use their services. Getting listed helps prospective customers discover your business. For example, all Square sellers who use Afterpay are discoverable in Afterpay’s Shop Directory, which is online and in the Afterpay app.
Offer in-store buy now pay later
Give customers the final nudge at the point of payment. Train staff on how to present the option and how to respond to any questions your customers may have.
Offer a loyalty program
Offering a loyalty program is a great way to encourage repeat business. According to The Loyalty Report by Bond, 79% of consumers say loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with brands. With Square Loyalty, for example, you can enroll customers at checkout and offer them rewards from your point of sale or Square Online dashboard.
Encourage in-store sales and walk-in customers with buy now, pay later
Your customers want flexible and transparent payment options. Offering buy now, pay later payment options in-store can help sales and improve the customer shopping experience. BNPL gives your customers higher spending power and makes it easier for them to pay. They are not only able to make large purchases, but they also get immediate access to their products or services at no extra cost to you. To get started, choose a BNPL provider that integrates with your current or preferred point of sale system or payment tools. Once you’re set, create BNPL awareness using strategic store signage and via your online marketing channels.