More than ever, cash-strapped shoppers are using BNPL (buy now pay later) services to buy basic necessities, including groceries.
According to a recent report by the Washington Post, inflation is causing more Americans to lean on the $309 billion industry to literally put food on the table.
The usage of services like Afterpay, Klarna and Affirm has surged by 40% in the first two months of 2023, according to data from Adobe Analytics.
“The consumer is incredibly adept at finding ways to stretch their spending and, healthily or not, buy now, pay later has certainly provided that outlet,” said Simeon Siegel, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets. “It’s not the only way, but I think it has been the easiest way in recent years.”
According to a January 2023 research report from Capterra, BNPL is taking advantage of financially illiterate shoppers despite what they may think.
As previously reported by ESSENCE, in the company’s 2022 Buy Now, Pay Later Survey, nearly all (95%) of shoppers say they’re confident they can make their next payment on time and 65% said they’d be more likely to purchase from a business offering BNPL.
“Responsible payment offerings are of utmost importance for businesses using BNPL, especially because users are primarily younger and minority groups who are more likely to have no credit history,” says Max Lillard, senior finance analyst at Capterra. “When implemented correctly, business can help customers access previously gated financial opportunities, and in some cases, help them build credit.”