Consumers in the US flocked to buy now, pay later (BNP) services for their groceries in the first two months of this year as they attempt to combat the rising costs of living, new data from Adobe Analytics shows.

Shoppers have been increasingly opting for buy now, pay later services that allow them to pay for purchases over time with groceries’ share of BNPL orders growing by a staggering 40% in the first two months of 2023. In other categories furnishings grew by 38% while apparel only grew by 8%, and electronics actually fell by 14%.

“The rise of buy now, pay later usage for groceries tells us that consumers are likely making bigger purchases online to take advantage of special promotions and stock up on staples, thus managing living expenses in more flexible ways,” said Vivek Pandya, lead analyst of Adobe Digital Insights

“The strong online growth of home furnishing purchasing is expected to bolster buy now, pay later adoption, given the higher ticket prices in this category,” he added.

The insights into the digital economy were released at Adobe Summit, revealing resilient online shopping demand for groceries and home furnishings, categories that previously struggled to gain traction.

At the same time, continued economic uncertainty is driving many shoppers to delay payment for purchases by using buy now, pay later (BNPL) options online.

In 2022, the share of online purchases using BNPL grew by 14% year-on-year, with revenue from BNPL growing 27%. In the first two months of 2023, BNPL order share was up by 10% year-on-year, though revenue fell by 19%, indicating that consumers are using this payment method for smaller purchases.

The Adobe Analytics report analyses commerce transactions online in the US covering over 1 trillion visits to retail sites, 100 million SKUs, and 18 product categories.

According to Pandya, “Ecommerce demand has remained resilient in an uncertain economic environment, driven in part by lasting pandemic habits where consumers had no choice but to leverage online food and home furnishing shopping services.

“Now consumers have embraced the rich ecommerce experiences that made them feel comfortable getting these necessities delivered to their doorsteps, making these categories new growth drivers in the digital economy.”

Photo by Tara Clark via Unsplash