Americans are testing every tool at their disposal to combat rising prices and economic uncertainty. Per the latest CivicScience data, as many as 4-in-5 are forgoing purchases at the grocery store due to rising prices. And a recent study from Adobe Analytics found that money spent on groceries online via “buy now, pay later” services grew 40% in the first two months of 2023 – well outpacing BNPL’s growth in other spending categories. But just how widespread is BNPL adoption among grocery shoppers?
According to the latest CivicScience data, 14% of U.S. adults have tried a BNPL service to purchase groceries, with just 4% intending to try one in the future. Nearly half (49%) aren’t interested – and one-third (34%) aren’t even familiar with BNPL services. But just among those who’ve heard of BNPL services, 20% of U.S. adults familiar have tried one to purchase groceries. Just 6% of those familiar with them plan to try BNPL for groceries in the future, while the vast majority (74%) haven’t used one and aren’t interested.
BNPL for groceries is far and away most popular with familiar U.S. adults who prefer to shop at ‘other’ or co-op grocery stores (nearly of those shoppers have tried it). Specialty and co-op shoppers are also the most likely to intend to try BNPL services (6%), with those who grocery shop at membership stores like Costco and Sam’s Club close behind (5%) – but none over-index in intent.
It’s also slightly more common among shoppers who say they make all or a majority of their grocery purchases online, clocking in at 23% who’ve tried BNPL – which more than doubles those who do most or all of their shopping in-store. Just over 1-in-10 of those who do at least some grocery shopping online intend to try BNPL services for groceries.
The BNPL trends are consistent with data CivicScience explored last week, which found lower-income shoppers getting creative to combat economic headwinds and surging prices. Although shoppers earning under $50K are similarly likely as those earning between $50K and $100K to have used BNPL on groceries (24% compared to 20%, respectively), those earning under $50K are by far the most likely to say they plan on trying BNPL for grocery shopping in the future (10%, more than doubling any other income bracket).
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