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Survey: Demand for pay-over-time keeps growing

The year 2020 was remarkable for many reasons, including this: Nearly half of U.S. consumers made a purchase with a buy now, pay later (BNPL) option like Affirm. And even more shoppers want to buy this way in 2021, according to our research.

Our New Year survey found 45% of respondents used BNPL during the global pandemic and economic recession. This trend helped fuel an increase in demand at Affirm this year as consumers sought more flexibility and control over their payments.

The survey—conducted with 2,000 Americans on October 28 and 29—also revealed shoppers’ outlook for spending and resolutions in 2021.

Paying over time helps with tight budgets

Sticking to a budget is always a popular resolution, and budgets may be tight for many as the pandemic extends into 2021. In fact, 53% said they can’t afford to pursue their goals or resolutions for 2021.

However, many see that paying over time can be a big help: 58% agreed that a pay-over-time option helps them stay within a budget. And more than half of shoppers—54%—are interested in using BNPL for purchases in 2021.

Are New Year’s resolutions still a thing?

The stress of this year has sapped enthusiasm for 2021 resolutions. Economic losses and restrictions due to the pandemic drove about half (52%) to say their usual New Year’s resolutions are no longer applicable. This year has upended so many norms that even a majority of people (55%) believe that making resolutions will become a thing of the past.

But our survey also revealed a bright spot in people’s outlook for 2021. Most consumers (63%) expect their finances will be better off in 2021 than at the end of 2020.

Restless consumers drive revenue opportunities

A growing restlessness among consumers could benefit a select group of industries in 2021.

  • Transportation and travel: Half of our survey respondents are more likely to take road trips in 2021 than in 2020. (And 56% took more than 1 road trip in 2020.) This could drive more hotel bookings, like we saw earlier this year after more people chose to travel by car.

  • Home and lifestyle: A third of respondents are considering moving in 2021. The top three reasons—change of scenery, closer to family, more space—could mean good news for sales of home furnishings, appliances, and more.

Offering your customers the option to pay over time with Affirm can help more of them buy what they want to achieve their goals for the new year—with budget-friendly terms and no hidden or late fees. Learn how Affirm can also increase sales for your business.