The Evolution of Consumer Convenience - Exploring Buy Now Pay Later & Try Before You Buy

Picture a time when shopping required a trip to a physical store, waiting in long queues, and paying with cash or card. Today, the consumer landscape has dramatically shifted, driven by the demand for convenience. The evolution of convenience has given birth to innovative payment models like Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and Try Before You Buy (TBYB). Join us as we explore how these new trends are reshaping the consumer experience and empowering shoppers in many ways.

The Rise of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Services

BNPL is a payment option that allows consumers to make purchases and pay for them in installments over time rather than paying the full amount upfront. It's like a modern twist on layaway but with added flexibility and convenience.

Here's how it typically works - when you're shopping online, you'll come across the option to use a BNPL service at the checkout. If you choose this option, you'll receive your purchase immediately, and the payment will be split into several installments. These installments are usually interest-free or have minimal interest charges, making them an attractive alternative to traditional credit cards.

Why is BNPL So Popular? 

Now, you might be wondering why BNPL services have become so popular. Well, there are a few factors at play here. 

BNPL offers consumers a more flexible and accessible way to make purchases. It eliminates the need to have a credit card or go through a lengthy credit approval process. This accessibility has opened up online shopping to a broader audience, including individuals who may not have qualified for credit in the past. Ray-Ban, the iconic eyewear brand, has joined the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) trend, offering their customers the option to purchase their sunglasses and prescription eyewear using BNPL services. This new payment option has added an extra layer of convenience and affordability for those looking to sport the renowned Ray-Ban style.

Another factor is the seamless integration of BNPL services into e-commerce platforms. Many online retailers have partnered with BNPL providers to offer their customers this payment option at checkout. Shopify has partnered with several prominent BNPL providers, such as Affirm, Klarna, Sezzle, and Afterpay, among others. Each of these providers has its unique features and terms, but they all share the common goal of simplifying the purchasing process and making it more accessible.

Benefits of BNPL to E-commerce Sellers 

  • Increased conversion rate -  BNPL options at checkout have been shown to boost the conversion rate, leading to higher sales and revenue for e-commerce sellers.
  • Larger average order value - Offering BNPL encourages customers to spend more on their purchases, resulting in higher average order values.
  • Competitive advantage - Incorporating BNPL services sets e-commerce sellers apart from competitors, attracting customers who prefer flexible payment options.
  • Expanded customer base - BNPL appeals to a broader audience, including individuals who may not have access to credit cards or prefer not to use them.
  • Enhanced customer satisfaction - Providing BNPL as a payment option increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in repeat business and positive reviews.
  • Reduced cart abandonment - By eliminating the need for immediate full payment, BNPL reduces cart abandonment rates, ensuring more completed transactions.
  • Partner benefits - E-commerce sellers often collaborate with BNPL providers, benefiting from their marketing efforts and gaining exposure to a wider customer base.
  • Lower risk of fraud - BNPL services typically assume the risk of fraudulent transactions, protecting e-commerce sellers from potential financial losses.
  • Improved cash flow - While customers pay in installments, e-commerce sellers receive the full payment upfront from the BNPL service, enhancing cash flow and working capital management.
  • Marketing opportunities - BNPL partnerships can lead to joint marketing campaigns, promotions, and collaborations, expanding brand visibility and attracting new customers.

The Concept of Try Before You Buy (TBYB)

The Try Before You Buy approach has evolved over time and found its way into various industries. TBYB is a marketing strategy that allows consumers to experience a product or service before committing to a purchase. 

It essentially gives people the opportunity to try out a product or service to determine if it meets their expectations, fits their needs, or aligns with their preferences. By offering this trial period, companies aim to increase consumer convenience, confidence and ultimately boost sales.

Why is TBYB so Popular? 

Much like BNPL, TBYB is also making the waves - especially when it comes to customer convenience. Many businesses are implementing it not only because it is highly effective in attracting new customers but also because businesses can differentiate themselves in the market, providing a unique and customer-centric experience. TBYB addresses a fundamental consumer concern - uncertainty. When customers are unsure about a product's quality, fit, or functionality, they are more likely to hesitate or choose a competitor's offering.

By offering a trial period, businesses alleviate this uncertainty, providing consumers with a risk-free opportunity to experience the product firsthand. This significantly boosts consumer confidence and increases the likelihood of conversion. Take Casper, a mattress-in-a-box company, as an example. They recognized the hesitation consumers often feel when buying a mattress online. To address this, they introduced a TBYB program that offers customers a trial period of 100 nights. If the mattress doesn't meet their expectations, Casper provides a hassle-free return process. This not only helps customers overcome their concerns but also positions Casper as a trusted and customer-centric brand.

Benefits of TBYB to E-commerce Sellers 

  • Reduces returns and costs - Offering a trial period significantly reduces return rates, saving sellers from the hassle and expenses associated with returns.
  • Increases conversions - TBYB turns potential customers into buyers by overcoming hesitation and uncertainty.
  • Boosts customer confidence - Customers feel more confident about their purchase decision when they can try the product before committing. In fact, a study conducted by Accenture found that 87% of customers feel more confident making a purchase after experiencing a product through a trial period. 
  • Builds trust and loyalty - Trying before buying builds trust in the seller and the product, leading to repeat purchases and customer loyalty.
  • Differentiates from competitors - TBYB sets sellers apart by offering a unique service that attracts customers.
  • Improves market research and product development - TBYB provides valuable insights into customer preferences and usage patterns. For example, an e-commerce seller offering a TBYB program for a subscription box service can track which items customers choose to keep and which they return.
  • Generates positive word-of-mouth - Satisfied customers share their TBYB experience, bringing in new customers.

Key Takeaways! 

Both options have their advantages, and it ultimately depends on your preference and situation. "Try before you buy" lets you try out the product first-hand, reducing the risk of disappointment, while "Buy now pay later" offers immediate gratification and flexibility in payment. To integrate an option for TNBL or BNPL into your Shopify store, reach out to the Coala Studios team, and we’ll get that done for you right away!