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How your business can offer buy now, pay later

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) has surged in the last 2 years because shoppers love its convenience and flexibility. Over half of U.S. shoppers (56%) used it for purchases in 2021, and its popularity is encouraging more and more businesses to get in on the action.

You can do this by partnering with a BNPL provider like Affirm to enable this simple type of financing at checkout. In the last year, the number of merchants that offer BNPL with Affirm grew to 207,000 from 12,000. That’s because these merchants love the benefits that can come with offering BNPL, including up to 30% lifts in conversion rates and 50% bigger cart sizes. (Read more about how offering buy now, pay later can benefit businesses.)

Here are some ways you can start offering buy now, pay later to your customers.

Check for plug-ins with your tech partners

You may be able to integrate a BNPL provider’s software into your site through one of your existing tech partners. Some providers, including Affirm, work with leading e-commerce platforms to allow their clients to add BNPL options to their businesses with a few clicks. The same is true for some payment processors (Adyen, Stripe), hosting platforms (Wix), and more. Check with your existing partners to see if this option is available for your business.

Many e-commerce merchants on Shopify, for example, are able to offer buy now, pay later through Shop Pay Installments (SPI), which is powered by Affirm. ONDO, a socks retailer on the Shopify e-commerce platform, saw a 28% boost in conversion after offering flexible payments with Shop Pay Installments (SPI).

"Shop Pay Installments has definitely been helping us bring up our average cart size," said Daniel Shim, CEO of ONDO. "Our average cart size on Shop Pay Installments is double that of regular checkouts as more customers are buying larger bundles of our socks."

Check our business page for a longer list of platforms that partner with Affirm to offer members easy access to buy now, pay later.

 Set up direct integration with a BNPL provider

There are a variety of ways you can go about partnering directly with a BNPL provider to integrate their technology to your site. First, you’ll want to reflect a bit and clarify some goals. Are you more focused on getting more customers to complete checkout or increase cart sizes? Is customer acquisition or engagement more important to your BNPL strategy? Knowing these answers can help you decide which program and provider is best for you.

Depending on the provider you select, you may find a do-it-yourself integration works best, with minimal dev work involved. Affirm offers this type of setup: It generally takes about 2 weeks and 7 steps to complete—no programming expertise required. (Get more details on the 7-step program in this free ebook, or in our FAQs.)

After jewelry designer Kristin Coffin decided to implement Affirm for her business, her brother, who doesn’t have a coding background, was able to complete the tech integration in an afternoon.

“Updating our website is usually a beast of a process, so it was amazing to have the integration process go so seamlessly,” she said. “We saw our first sale via Affirm the day after integration!” 

Get custom solutions for large enterprises

There are other integration options, too, for large enterprise businesses or those who want a more custom solution. Before speaking with a BNPL provider, you should look into their fee structure, customer experience, and range of plans. A merchant with a mix of high-AOV and low-AOV orders, for example, may benefit from a different BNPL program than a business that has average cart sizes under $100.

For more on how a variety of merchants have integrated Affirm into their businesses, see these case studies from Cole Haan, Ikon Pass, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Home Furnishings. These are just a few examples of how all kinds of businesses are offering buy now, pay later—and seeing multiple rewards.

To learn more about how important buy now, pay later can be for your business, check out Why a pay-over-time solution is pivotal to your growth strategy.