Recent years have witnessed how eCommerce has evolved vigorously as more and more shoppers have comfortably diverted to online shopping while on the go or at work. As a result, retailers have been forced to provide an ultimate experience for the shoppers, with a seamless shopping process that includes comprehensive features and flexible payment options. A complete customer experience is where customers can complete the purchase without friction—through different types of flexible payments or the BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) facility.

What are flexible payments?

Flexible payment is a service offered by retailers which allows consumers the option to “buy now pay later” (BNPL) as well as pay in instalments just like credit cards but without the high-interest rates and credit limit that credit cards come with. It’s a great way for brands to drive sales.

Providers of flexible payments will take a small percentage of every BNPL sale. Thus, it’s a win-win for all three: the customer, the retailer, and the provider of flexible payments service.

Benefits of flexible payments

·      Increase in online conversions

Study shows that 55% of abandoned baskets online are because of the high total cost of purchase including shipping costs. Flexible payments can make these purchases more smooth by spreading out the costs over a period of time.

Today’s consumers use mobile devices much more than ever before while shopping online. Flexible online payments, such as instalment payments and BNPL options, not only remove obstacles in the buying journey but also increases conversions and the average order value, and minimises cart abandonments which eventually increase your conversion rate and revenues.

·      Helps to reach new audiences 

Offering multiple payment options increases new customer acquisition and tender brands an opportunity to stand out from their competitors. Flexible payments are more attractive to younger consumers, especially millennials, who are expected to be the main drivers of eCommerce today. BNPL options also offer a point of differentiation for your online marketing efforts when it comes to commerce.

·      A better alternative to credit cards

BNPL offers an alternative to traditional credit cards with interest-free payment options that assist postpone payments and increasing liquidity. The pandemic left loads of consumers unemployed and financially unstable, and in need of greater flexibility with their purchases, thus accelerating BNPL growth for obvious reasons. 

·      Improve your customers’ shopping experiences

BNPL solutions are more appealing to many consumers who prefer to make less of a financial commitment and fuss-free shopping process with minimum checkout pages. 

As we’ve covered, millennials are some of the biggest users of flexible payments. And for many brands today, they are their biggest audience. Flexible payments provide millennials who are the biggest audience today with a personalised, uncomplicated commerce experience on their terms.

·      Instalments help grow AOV

Research states that more than 50% of consumers spend more when the online shopping store or website offers an instalment payment solution. Flexible payments allow you to meet the potential customers where they are, and both the new customers and loyal customers may choose your product over a competitor if you offer those options.

·      Grow customer loyalty 

By offering customers their preferred payment method and easy return policies, you’ll retain them and turn them into loyal customers and brand advocates.

·      Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Customer satisfaction is the core of any successful business. Giving customers favourable payment options without any extra fees or interest and as per their terms, will surely give them satisfaction and turn them into your loyal customers who keep coming to your website landing page again and again to shop. 

·      Brand Awareness

Only your loyal and satisfied customers will recommend your store and share their pleasant shopping experience with others and help your brand get good word of mouth, social proof,  followed by new customer acquisitions. 

·      Lesser Abandoned Shopping Carts

An abandoned shopping cart could be due to many reasons, but payment flexibility is one of the key reasons. companies that provide payment flexibility to the customers, observe a lower number of abandoned carts.

·      Convenient Business Operations

The flexible payment methods are technology-driven, so it eases the checkout process for both store owners and customers, thus keeping the business operations more convenient. Therefore, today most business owners are integrating this robust trend of accepting multiple payment methods even for guest checkouts who don’t create an account on the store.

Flexible payments trends in the UK in 2021

 Flexible payment methods and BNPL models have taken the entire eCommerce world by storm in the past few years.

·      9.5 million British consumers report that they avoid buying from online stores that don’t offer flexible payment options. This climaxes that flexible payments are the fastest growing essential trend in eCommerce.

·      27% of British consumers now use a flexible payment service and not surprisingly more than half of BNPL users used this service more over the pandemic. Highlighting the fact that the flexible payment model increased in popularity due to Covid-19, with online shopping and financial challenges.

·      A massive 8.6 million British consumers plan to use flexible payment options in the future shows no signs of this model slowing down in popularity at any time in the coming years.

·      Research shows that younger generations, the Gen Z audience, and the millennials are more likely to use this model. Especially millennials, with almost 41% stating that they now use flexible payment options.

·      41% of males reported they use this service compared to 33% of females showing that flexible payment options are more popular with males than females. 

·      With almost half of Londoners claiming to use flexible payments, London is  definitely the front runner in flexible payment usage, as compared to the East of England with the lowest uptake of just 31%.

Key takeaways

  • To optimise your customer experience, optimising the payment process and making it as convenient and attractive as possible for your customers is very vital. 
  • Today, offering the BNPL option is almost becoming standard, and most website visitors expect this from eCommerce merchants. 
  • Offering flexible payments gives brands an opportunity to acquire a new and growing customer base, also retaining loyal customers.
  • If you consider the fact that 67% of young buyers don’t have credit cards, flexible payments become the fastest-growing trend in digital sales, especially among millennials and Gen Z shoppers.
  • Considering all of the above, the rapidly growing flexible payments are fast proving to be a necessity for commerce brands and consumers alike.



Järvsoo, M. (2022, January 7). Ecommerce growth through Flexible Payment & BNPL. Vaimo. Retrieved July 28, 2022, from 

The benefits of offering flexible payments on eCommerce stores. Yotpo. (2021, October 29). Retrieved July 28, 2022, from 

Salman ZafarSalman Zafar is a serial entrepreneur. (2022, July 13). Why flexible payment method is important for online business. Techie Loops | Creating Loop Around Tech. Retrieved July 28, 2022, from 

Helyer, K. (2021, October 22). The rise of flexible payments for the UK ecommerce industry. Pure360. Retrieved July 28, 2022, from 



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