Supply chain hang-ups are sure to provide holiday shoppers with a new variety of stresses and roadblocks this year. As of last month, an increasing number of consumers were already thinking about holiday shopping compared to last year, which could make programs to spread payments across several months even more appealing for large purchases.
Walmart has officially phased out its layaway program in favor of the buy now, pay later financing service Affirm ahead of the holiday season. This functions similarly to layaway but allows consumers to take the product home immediately and pay it down after the fact. However, Affirm requires credit prequalification and may charge an APR between 10 and 30%.
According to a recent CivicScience study, the newer buy now, pay later programs are reaching a limited audience. Eighty percent of Americans either haven’t heard of these services or aren’t interested in using them outright. That said, 15% of the Gen Pop has either used and likes using these programs or plans to in the future.
Among Americans who’ve heard of the buy now, pay later programs, parents are the most likely to have used and like using them. A greater percentage of grandparents intend to use the services than those who have already used and like them.
More than one in five shoppers are at least somewhat likely to try out the buy now, pay later option this holiday season. That’s a notable figure, and it outpaces the combined share of Americans who’ve used and enjoy the programs and intended users.
Back to Walmart, which began phasing out its layaway program last year: a whole lot of Walmart shoppers are likely to try out the new payment program. Nearly half of Americans who love shopping at Walmart are at least somewhat likely to use a buy now, pay later program this holiday season, with more than one-quarter of Walmart fans rating themselves “very likely” to try the payment option. There’s a steep dropoff in interest for the more casual Walmart shoppers, but they still narrowly outpace the Gen Pop’s interest level.
While it’s hard to imagine Walmart without a physical layaway desk in-store, consumer interest for e-commerce buy now, pay later options will certainly be high enough to fill the void. After partnering with both Walmart and Amazon in short order, Affirm is well-positioned to be an industry leader.