BNPL statistics: What buy now, pay later products are consumers buying?

Shoppers across almost all age groups now use buy now, pay later (BNPL) for a wide range of purchases.

As consumer trust increases, the global BNPL market is forecast to grow by almost $450 billion between 2021 and 2026.1

This article looks at the types of consumers using BNPL, why enterprises should consider offering it, and how business leaders can integrate BNPL solutions into their global operations.

Which consumers are using Buy Now, Pay Later?

While BNPL is most popular among Millennials and Generation Z, Baby Boomers and Generation X are not far behind.2

A study by Billtrust surveyed more than 750 American Gen Z individuals between the ages of 18 to 25 and found that 26% of these consumers had used BNPL products in the previous three months. In addition, 74% of the Gen Z consumers say accepting new forms of digital payments improves their perception of a brand or retailer.3

The average amount another study found each generation spent over 90 days via BNPL is shown below4:

  • Generation Z - $1,230
  • Millennials - $1,851
  • Generation X - $1,756
  • Baby Boomers - $1,040

The same report highlighted Gen Z consumers are using BNPL for smaller, practical purchases, while consumers in the older Gen X and Baby Boomer categories are more likely to reserve BNPL for big-ticket items.

Learn more here about PayPal Buy Now, Pay Later options such as PayPal Pay in 4* and why retailers trust PayPal Pay Later to help them reach more customers, boost sales and loyalty, and adapt to changing consumer habits.

Why offer BNPL to customers?

Offering Buy Now, Pay Later as a payment method can deliver enterprises many benefits. These include:

  • Potential for higher Average Order Value (AOV): Giving customers the ability to spread their payments without having to pay interest can lead to a higher AOV: The average individual order value in 2021 was $135, up from $121 in 2020.5 Not only are they likely to add more to their cart, but they may also shop more frequently.
  • Enhanced customer experience: Providing customers with convenient, flexible payment methods that make obtaining credit more accessible may positively impact the customer experience. This can then increase brand loyalty and open new opportunities for business growth.
  • Enterprises get paid upfront: Although customers will pay in installments, enterprises will receive payment for each sale upfront as they would if someone was making a regular debit or credit card payment. BNPL providers handle all the payments from consumers, so there is less risk to the merchant.

Learn more about BNPL benefits.

What Buy Now, Pay Later products are consumers buying?

The way consumers use BNPL often correlates with their age group. Data from PYMNTS4 shows how BNPL use across generations can differ, and the purchase categories where BNPL use is either more or less concentrated.


  • Gen Z: 11.1%
  • Millennials: 14.6%
  • Gen X: 14.3%
  • Baby Boomers: 12.2%


  • Gen Z: 39.1%
  • Millennials: 18.6%
  • Gen X: 21.1%
  • Baby Boomers: 17.7%


  • Gen Z: 6.7%
  • Millennials: 10%
  • Gen X: 10.2%
  • Baby Boomers: 19.6%


  • Gen Z: 10.6%
  • Millennials: 8.1%
  • Gen X: 7.4%
  • Baby Boomers: 4.6%

As we can see, Gen Z is more likely to use BNPL for clothing and electronics purchases; this is also the case for both Millennial and Gen X consumers, although groceries and furniture are also popular BNPL purchases for these generations.

Discover how PayPal Pay in 4 and Pay Monthly** installment solutions empower consumers and BNPL.

Integrating Buy Now, Pay Later into your global business

Enterprises may trust PayPal Pay Later options to help them reach new customers, boost conversion rates, drive higher AOV, and improve the overall customer experience with frictionless checkout processes.

Integration of these BNPL solutions from PayPal can provide merchants with a seamless checkout process with just a few lines of code. Dynamic messaging will then present the most relevant Pay Later option as customers browse, shop, and check out.

PayPal Pay Later’s speedy decisioning of applications is based on rich historical data and advanced risk modelling. Customers will know in seconds if their application is approved, streamlining the customer experience.

Why enterprises trust PayPal Pay Later

Reasons why enterprises trust PayPal for their BNPL integrations include:

  • 90% approval rate for Pay Later customers globally.5
  • Pay Later average order values are 55% higher than standard PayPal AOV for large enterprise retailers globally.6
  • 81.6 net promoter score (NPS) of Global Pay Later.7

Learn more about PayPal Pay Later.

Navigating alternative payment methods with PayPal

PayPal Pay Later provides several key benefits to enterprises looking to integrate BNPL solutions into their check out. Merchants are paid upfront, meaning there is no additional risk to them when offering BNPL. Plus, if enterprises already use PayPal Checkout there is no additional cost as Pay in 4 and Pay Monthly are included.

Buy Now, Pay Later solutions from PayPal are quick and easy to integrate and are available with the single integration of PayPal Checkout. Accepting BNPL not only provides extra buying power for consumers, but also helps enterprises build brand loyalty by providing customers with their preferred payment methods and a seamless customer experience.

Learn more about how to accept PayPal Pay Later.

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