The concept of “buy now, pay later” has exploded in popularity in recent years. Americans have been using this form of lending — in which the cost of a purchase is typically divided into four payments over several weeks or months — to buy everything from clothes to Peloton bikes. But now there is a new trend: People are using the payment method for smaller items, like groceries. From MarketWatch:
Buy now, pay later — referred to in the payments industry as BNPL — is a new spin on the concept of layaway. It allows consumers to get the product up front, divide their payment into installments paid over a longer period with little or no interest — as long as the make the payments on time. Common BNPL options include Afterpay, Klarna, Affirm, PayPal and Zip.
In the first two months of 2023, the share of online grocery orders made using buy now, pay later grew by 40% compared with the same period a year ago, according to new data released by Adobe Analytics this week.
The overall rise in BNPL online orders, meanwhile, grew by 10% over the same period, and overall online BNPL revenue fell by 19%, meaning the average dollar amount for each order fell. This trend may be partly due to the fact that Americans are simply spending more money on groceries online. Online grocery spending grew by nearly 27% year over year to $8.4 billion in February.