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Experts roundtable: Tips for implementing flexible payments

Are you looking to add more payment options—including flexible payment plans like buy now, pay later (BNPL)—to your e-commerce business?

You’re not alone. Today’s market for BNPL is expected to double by 2024, representing more than $100 billion in sales. Merchants of every size are adding pay-over-time options to their checkouts to take advantage of this steady growth.

To give some perspective on why you should add flexible payment options and what factors to consider in your decision, we asked some experts to weigh in. These are pros you may already work with—they lead some of the major platforms that support millions of e-commerce businesses around the world.

Here, in no special order, are highlights from their responses.

From BigCommerce:

Make sure you consider your target demographic and identify the options that resonate most with them. For example, Gen Z and Millennial shoppers gravitate to buy now, pay later (BNPL) because it offers them the flexibility that traditional credit cards might not. 

— Mark Rosales, VP, Business Development, Payments, Banking, FinTech at BigCommerce

From BVA Commerce:

Consider the Customer Service aspect of using a BNPL. While the partner will ultimately have the onus of collecting payment, etc., many customers will still contact brands with questions. Having a dedicated FAQ section for common questions will ensure that a) the customer service team feels empowered to take care of the customer and b) there is a natural buffer on the site for customers to find answers quickly.

— Kristen Stanise,Strategist, and Victoria Colson, Senior Strategist at BVA Commerce 

From WooCommerce:

As the seller, you need to give your potential customers the payment choices they are looking for to make the purchase decision that much easier. WooCommerce research showed that 56% of U.S. merchants have added multiple or new payment gateways to offer customers more payment options and better checkout experiences. Other key reasons being to expand business reach (49%) and trust and reliability (45%).  Research also showed businesses with greater revenue generally have more payment gateways enabled: Businesses with revenue above $1M have 4.5 payment methods enabled, compared to 3.5 for businesses with less than $1M. 

— Roslyn Lavery, Director of Partner Management at WooCommerce

From Adyen:

Offering a seamless checkout experience is a balancing act between choice and simplicity. Focus on personalizing payment methods based on what you know about your customers and offer a checkout flow that reduces clicks as much as possible.

— Brian Dammeir, President of North America at Adyen

From Clearco:

The worldwide volume of BNPL transactions was $285B back in 2018. It is predicted to hit $680B in 2025, a compound annual growth rate of 13.23%. This trend presents a significant opportunity for merchants to entice shoppers who want to make less of a financial commitment, even on lower ticket items. If you're not yet thinking about implementing a BNPL solution, now is the time. 

— Andrei Arkhanguelski, Clear Coach at ClearAngel

Learn more how Affirm can help grow sales for your business. You can also get our free ebook about how to add pay-over-time options for your business in 7 easy steps.