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PayPal’s E-Commerce Index¹ explores Brits’ relationship with Buy Now, Pay Later payment methods in mid-2022; including where and when UK consumers are using the facility and how merchants can best leverage BNPL offerings to attract and retain existing customers. 

In the UK, more than one in five consumers (22%) use BNPL to make purchases– rising to a third amongst Gen Z (32%).  On average, consumers make three purchases per month and spend £61 on each BNPL transaction. When looking at where they are making BNPL purchases, fashion tops the list with 54% of all BNPL purchases used to keep wardrobes up to date, whilst Electronics & Computing (32%) and Health & Beauty (29%) complete the top three categories. And retailers in the luxury sector may see a boost in 2023 with 46 per cent of consumers considering purchasing luxury items with BNPL, even if they have never used BNPL before.

Paying use BNPL

BNPL at checkout could provide a significant improvement to sales conversions

Looking to Europe, we see a similar picture with consumers spending at least €100 per month on BNPL purchases. Like in the UK, Fashion is the top category across the region, with at least two-in-five shoppers in all European countries having made purchases with BNPL. Buy Now Pay Later usage is highest in France (28%), followed by Sweden (25%), the Netherlands (23%), Germany (22%) and the UK (22%) completing the top five markets.


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PayPal’s E-Commerce Index demonstrates that offering BNPL at checkout could provide a significant improvement to sales conversions – with almost half of Brits (48%) saying they would be likely to purchase from an online retailer if they accept PayPal Pay in 3*, offering them the power to split their purchase into three interest-free payments. 

Buy Now Pay Later offer consumers flexibility to spread costs in a safe and convenient way that helps them to manage their money securely without charges – in fact, 69 per cent of users say purchasing via BNPL helps them budget, and 64 per cent say it helps them manage their cash flow². The BNPL payment method offered by merchants can play a part in consumer usage, with over one in 10 consumers (14%) saying they have switched to a PayPal BNPL service such as Pay in 3 as it has no late fees.

Offering BNPL options at checkout, such as PayPal Pay in 3, gives retailers an opportunity to increase sales value as well as grow customer loyalty. A huge 70 per cent of customers say Buy Now, Pay Later options let them buy what they want to without waiting³, while 63 per cent say they would be more likely to make a repeat purchase from a retailer that offers BNPL payment methods.

As consumer usage of BNPL services continues to expand, businesses of any size have a real opportunity to support sales and drive growth by offering BNPL payment options to their customers. 

To find out more about how PayPal can help businesses benefit from the latest trends in ecommerce, read the full PayPal E-Commerce Index Report here


¹PayPal’s E-Commerce Index is based on a study conducted by ACA Research with n=15,221* consumers and n=4,604 businesses in July 2022. It contains general observations about trends in e-Commerce, social commerce, Buy Now Pay Later and cross border as well as involving cryptocurrency, NFTs and the metaverse. The study does not take into account the objectives, situation or needs of any specific business or individual. The statistics set out in the article above are taken from PayPal’s E-Commerce Index, unless otherwise stated within. 

²White Paper Perspective | Transforming the Payment Experience through Innovative Buy Now, Pay Later Options 

3TRC, Commissioned by PayPal, April 2021. TRC conducted 20 minutes online survey amongst 1,000 UK consumers ages 18+.

4TRC, Commissioned by PayPal, April 2021. TRC conducted 20 minutes online survey amongst 1,000 UK consumers ages 18+.

* Pay in 3 is a form of credit and availability is subject to merchant status, sector and integration. Consumer eligibility is subject to status and approval and Pay in 3 use can make credit less accessible or more expensive. See product terms for more details.

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