Business transformation is what successful companies continuously strive to achieve, and one area seeing tremendous potential is the payments landscape, where new payment alternatives have garnered a large following, especially among millennials and Gen Z. Today's consumers look for not only convenience, speed and reliability but also a variety of payment options.
To stay competitive, businesses must consider offering multiple payment methods, such as buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) solutions, which help break up large and prohibitive one-time expenses into smaller, more manageable monthly charges without the burden of interest payments.
"A BNPL solution that focuses on doing the right thing for the customer by making sure they have the ability to pay off purchases creates a win-win situation," said Andrew Rostami, president of Citizens Pay. "The consumers get what they want, and the merchants deliver the right customer experience and earn loyalty from the customer."
Besides improving the customer shopping experience, BNPLs also encourage larger purchases and more conversions and reduce cart abandonment. Conversely, poor customer service causes $1.6 trillion in lost sales each year. "BNPLs can offer a way to accelerate sales and drive repeat customer behavior and loyalty, but in a much more omnichannel type of way," Rostami added. "They help customers make large purchases regardless of how they want to shop, and that gives retailers a really strong competitive advantage." In a study of U.S. consumers, 41% of Gen Z and 44.12% of millennial shoppers said they bought something more expensive when they had a financing option.
While most businesses are willing to invest in their business transformation, what they should aim for is long-lasting transformation. A BNPL solution from a strategic partner that has an existing relationship with business owners and that can provide insights and trusted advice can be a valuable part of that transformation. Beyond the improved customer experience and greater customer loyalty, BNPL providers that have experience working with businesses across all their financial needs can offer low funding costs and strategically help businesses power their sales and customer loyalty from end to end, Rostami said.
Here are three powerful ways a BNPL payment service from a strategic partner can help businesses reach their potential through business transformation:
1. Transformation through customization
The right BNPL solution can offer both out-of-the-box, easy solutions as well as solutions tailored to a retailer’s unique business needs. Benefits of a custom platform implementation are numerous, ranging from even greater brand awareness and revenue to improved data on consumer preferences and new partnership opportunities. As Rostami points out, tailor-made BNPL solutions that bundle financing into the product "can create even more sales uplift because they create a customer demand that didn’t exist before."
2. BNPL as a strategic tool
A BNPL solution associated with banking institutions can provide both nimble and agile design and integration as well as valuable insights, advice and financial expertise to the merchant, making it a strategic tool that merchants can leverage. Moreover, the lower costs of capital from deposits and their larger balance sheets could give banks that offer BNPL solutions an advantage over fintech solutions.
"By being able to offer lower costs, marketing techniques, advanced analytics and industry experience in credit and fraud," Rostami explained, "these types of BNPL solutions can get the best possible outcomes for the merchant."
3. Upgrading the customer experience
Businesses that are customer-centric are 60% more profitable than those that are not. By partnering with a company with established financial experience and a comprehensive understanding of the consumer, merchants are empowered to significantly improve the customer experience, leading to higher transaction values, a larger pool of potential customers, fewer abandoned purchases and increased loyalty.
"When you have a BNPL that offers a virtual line of credit that the customer can use many times for new purchases, the solution becomes highly efficient at driving repeat purchases and giving the customer the purchasing power to grow with the merchant," Rostami said.
Preparing for the transformation journey
The evolution of how business is conducted in the digital age has spurred opportunities for growth while also giving more power to the consumer. One of the ways consumer power is expressed is through the demand for a better customer experience. New payment options are an effective way to answer that demand.
BNPL providers that act as a strategic partner can improve the customer experience as well as provide helpful business insights and advice to retailers, thereby helping them prepare for all aspects of the transformation journey.