Fashion apparel brand Rebecca Minkoff is working with fintech company Afterpay to allow customers to buy products and take ownership of them immediately, but pay for them over time in four interest-free installments, according to a press release from the partners.
The "buy now, pay later" service does not require buyers to enter into a traditional loan agreement with the brand and does not require an upfront payment to start the installment program, the release stated.
The announcement comes not long after the designer told CNBC that her company is not planning to raise prices on handbags manufactured in China despite the Trump administration’s program to impose new tariffs on imported goods.
Frictionless shopping can mean a lot of different things. It can mean using mobile scan-and-go technology to help shoppers avoid long checkout lines. It can mean providing one-touch payment when shoppers are using their mobile smartphones to buy online. Another way retailers can move toward a frictionless shopping experience is to remove any barriers that stall the decision to purchase.
Afterpay is one of several technology firms (Affirm and Bread are two others) looking remove this hand-wringing from the purchase process by giving shoppers options to quickly buy on credit or via loan without having to fill out time-consuming forms or submit to credit checks. Even traditional payment card networks like Mastercard, which has worked with Verifone on an instant financing program, are getting into the act.
Rebecca Minkoff is the latest big name to buy into this kind of concept. Coming after Minkoff’s own comments about not raising prices in the face of new tariffs, it’s another move that shows how this brand is thinking about different ways to keep products affordable and easy to buy for shoppers.
AfterPay also has worked with Urban Outfitters, in addition to other retailers and brands, claiming to deliver an average 20% to 30% increase in conversion rate and incremental sales. Affirm also has a reported arrangement with Walmart.
Still, if there are as many retailers and brands using these options as the vendors say, it seems like those merchants don’t hype these offerings nearly as much as they could. If they were to promote them a little more loudly and broadly, they just might be rewarded with higher conversion rates.