Any store
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Retail Insights

KrisAnne Madaus

Think you know the top BNPL shopping categories? 

If you guessed electronics, furniture, and women’s clothing, you’re not wrong. Those three categories lead the charge, but a dark horse coming in at number four may surprise you: vehicle-related bills and expenses.* It’s just one of many everyday purchase categories on the rise, from groceries and food to service-based retailers in health, travel, and entertainment.

What is an everyday retailer?

The everyday retailer is complicated to define. It’s a vast category made up of a diverse group of merchants selling a wide variety of items or services at a physical location, online, or in a hybrid capacity. How did they all get lumped together? Let’s provide some clarity there.

These retailers have two key things in common. First, as the name suggests, customers visit these merchants with regular frequency. And second, the goods or services sold fall closer to the realm of necessity than desire. Here are some examples:

  • Supermarkets
  • Convenience stores (gas)
  • Mechanics
  • Hotels
  • Airlines
  • Salons
  • Restaurants

Why are everyday categories becoming more popular?

Millennials and younger generations took to BNPL as a simple way to split aspirational purchases like fashion or beauty products into short-term installments. While these categories are still top of the list, the payments space is ever-evolving. In short, BNPL is growing up. 

The service is newly attracting older audiences whose interests and values are understandably different from those of their younger peers. Gen X shoppers are now the second-heaviest users of BNPL—57% have tried it (probably not for AirPods, but maybe!), and 34% have used it more than once. As adoption goes cross-generational, more practical purchase categories emerge and grow in demand.

With 23.75% of BNPL users purchasing groceries, (ranking higher than books, movies, music, and games), it’s clear now that BNPL services are for more than just luxury and leisure. Instead, they play a significant part in helping consumers of all ages and backgrounds make larger basic purchases now, and pay later.

What’s driving people to use BNPL for everyday purchases?

Functional aspects of BNPL, like convenience and better budgeting practices, have motivated shoppers of all generations to adopt the service in the everyday retailer space. 


The growing momentum in the BNPL space for habitual purchases is largely driven by that deeply ingrained consumer expectation we call convenience. No matter what they’re shopping for or where they’re shopping, customers want merchants to know them and anticipate their needs. They want personalized recommendations on their phones, delivery services, and rewarding loyalty programs. And they want a frictionless interaction at that all-important step of the process, checkout. 

Buy now pay later providers were made for this, allowing shoppers to pay in installments both in-store by tapping their phone, or online with a click—without needing to pull out their wallet or credit card.

  • 28% choose BNPL at checkout because it is the “easiest way for me to pay.”*
  • 26% say they used it simply because it was offered at checkout.

Better budgeting

Another functional aspect motivating shoppers to use BNPL is healthy budgeting. 38% of BNPL users say they use it to help them budget and better manage their cash flow.* Suddenly that plane ticket home or grocery haul for a holiday dinner becomes more manageable, and transparent terms make it easy to pay the purchase off quickly.

Should your business offer BNPL?

It’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with customer demands across the customer journey, but BNPL can help seal the deal by making checkout easy. With a widely applicable service (one in four merchants already accept BNPL!), a growing number of everyday goods and service providers are following suit.

Grocers and salons alike can reach a larger audience and meet shoppers where they are (online or in-store) with Zip through a seamless, intuitive interface. An added bonus: Zip users are extremely satisfied with our experience:

  • 7 in 10 Zip users prefer Zip to other BNPL alternatives.
  • 55% of merchants say that BNPL offers a better customer experience.
  • 61% of Zip grocery customers consider ease of use our best feature.
  • 93% of grocery customers are highly satisfied with their Zip experience.*

Having the right payment options takes the friction out of your experience and empowers shoppers, which leads to the good stuff: repeat visits, more sales, and higher AOV. 

You can get integrated in minutes, add Zip to your payment platform, and start accepting payments immediately. Add Zip to your checkout today to get back to what you do best while taking advantage of all the benefits BNPL has to offer.

*Source: Zip Research

KrisAnne Madaus
KrisAnne Madaus

KrisAnne Madaus is a NY-based copy and content writer at Zip who has served various clients in the tech, data analytics, and consulting arenas throughout her writing career. She enjoys creating content that helps business leaders foster innovation in retail, ecommerce, and management.