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More than 1 in 5 digital buyers in the US will use a 'buy now, pay later' service

More than 1 in 5 digital buyers will use a buy now pay later service

David Seun

For the first time, eMarketer is forecasting the number of US consumers who will use a buy now, pay later service.

This year, 45.1 million people ages 14 and older will use a BNPL platform, up 81.2% over last year. This represents more than one-fifth (21.5%) of digital buyers in the US. By 2025, that figure will grow to more than one-third.

According to Oscar Orozco, eMarketer forecasting director:

“The pandemic has accelerated the growth of the BNPL industry by offering consumers more flexibility and easier payment plans. The surge in ecommerce has also been a boon to the industry, as consumers have relied more on digital shopping to fulfill their needs. BNPL solutions also provide an alternative to consumers who have reservations about credit cards with high interest rates. Merchants have increasingly adopted these services at the point-of-sale as a way to attract consumers, increase average order value, improve conversion rates, and drive sales.”

The top players in the space are Klarna, Afterpay, and Affirm. Klarna leads with 48.6% of BNPL users, followed by Afterpay with 28.1% and Affirm with 13.4%.

eMarketer also has increased forecast for US retail ecommerce sales in 2021. US ecommerce sales are expected to grow 17.9% this year (higher than the 13.7% predicted in January 2021) to reach $933.30 billion. That pushes ecommerce’s share of total US retail sales to 15.3%, up from 14.0% last year. Ecommerce is now on track to surpass 20% of total retail by 2024.


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