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Growth of BNPL: discovering the shoppers most likely to embrace BNPL in 2023

If there is one payment method in the field of ecommerce that has seen a major expansion, acceptance, and integration into many different categories, we talk about BNPL: the Buy Now, Pay Later way of paying for your purchases.

Jul 19, 2023 4 minutes
Man smiling at his package.

The BNPL appeal.

BNPL enables the option to either postpone and/or split the payment into interest-free installments. Rapidly, the payment method gained in popularity among shoppers around the world, providing a sense of convenience, safety, and flexibility, which drives even more adoption of the method in checkout environments.

In 2023, the shopper profile most likely to start using a BNPL-product can vary, but generally, it tends to appeal to younger consumers who value flexibility and convenience in their purchases. This includes not only fashion shoppers, but also tech-savvy individuals who are comfortable with digital transactions and prefer alternative payment methods, compared to the more traditional options that have been on the market for a long time. However, it's important to note that specific shopper profiles can vary based on factors such as region, socioeconomic status, and personal preferences.

5 BNPL-shopper** types:

Zooming in on the BNP- users.

The Netherlands (with 17.8 million people in 2023) and Germany (with 84.4 million people) both have an online shopper share of 94%, which is one of the highest in the world. From all these online shoppers, 87% of the Dutch share and 85% of the German share, says to have shopped online in the past year. Or in actual numbers: there are 15.5 million online buyers in the Netherlands, and 71.7 million in Germany. From all these millions of shoppers, a good chunk already is a BNPL-user (NL 17% + Germany 23%).  

Two young people chatting

Dutch shoppers with higher disposable income.

(Young) Professionals not only shop more, but they are also most likely to use a BNPL-solution. This group of people has scriptural money to spend, and high order values become “more affordable”. The appealing flexibility (NL high income: 21% and Medium-High 20%) of splitting costs over time in installments, helps to maintain the lifestyle they desire. In Germany however, there is no clear difference between income, as across incomes the share of BNPL-users is roughly 1 in 4.  

Family playing outside with a ball.

Families with children.

Families with children are maximizing flexibility and convenience whilst making online purchases. BNPL allows shoppers in the family stage (as well as other consumers) to spread out their payments over time. The ease, convenience, time saving-payment and flexibility enables them to manage their cash flow more effectively, allocating funds for other expenses that families often encounter. (NL Families 26%, pre-family 25%, Post Family 13% and Senior 10% + DE Families 33%, pre-family 28%, Post Family 20% and Senior 22%). Noteworthy is the German Senior segment and its much higher share of BNPL-users (compared to the Netherlands). It looks like this 65+ BNPL purchase maker has discovered the BNPL-benefits and is starting to adopt the payment method rapidly.

Lady unpacking het new clothing.

Impulse buyers are drawn to BNPL.

About one in four Dutch- and almost a third of all German BNPL-shoppers are Impuls buyers (NL Impulse Buyer BNPL user 27% + DE 32%). The product’s flexibility in no upfront payments, thus the reduced financial impact on the bank balance and helps as a spontaneous budgeting tool to incorporate their unplanned online purchase. Not breaking the bank, enjoying a new item and trying it out to see if it fits their needs within the return window, is the perfect match with a BNPL-payment solution. BNPL allows the impulse buyer to be truly impulsive and makes impulse purchases more manageable and less taxing on their budget.

Girls running across the street.

Shopping lovers

Pleasantly browsing shopping lovers who mouse for new products online and prefer to pay after the purchase, are likely to select BNPL in the process of paying (NL BNPL-user who loves to shop online and browse 20% + DE BNPL-user who loves to shop online and browse 33%). Apart from flexibility and managing payments and personal finances, it contributes to the demand to Not pay for a product or service upfront (NL BNPL user not having to pay upfront 39% + DE BNPL user not having to pay upfront 36%).   

Man with headphones on his phone.

Tech savvy shoppers are all about digital convenience and up for BNPL

BNPL-solutions are, in general, offered in e-commerce shops, equipping a seamless and convenient checkout experience for the shopper. This aligns with the digital preferences of tech-savvy users, making BNPL an attractive payment method to choose that suits their digital lifestyle.   
BNPL is characterized as a modern and alternative payment method compared to traditional or other upfront payments. Options for interest-free split payments, BNPL and postponed payments (NL BNPL user 56% + DE BNPL user 45%), availability across channels (NL BNPL user 22% + DE BNPL user 16%) or a simplified and fast payment processes (NL BNPL user 50% + DE BNPL user 47%) with pre-loaded details (NL BNPL user 16% + DE BNPL user 16%), can attract tech-savvy individuals seeking new and efficient ways to manage their finances.  

Payment methods are becoming more and more important in the competitive online shopping landscape.


Shoppers now actively seek out merchants that offer a payment method that they prefer. In other words: when choosing where to buy a product, the payment methods offered are a central part of a BNPL-user purchase decision (NL BNPL user 27% + DE BNPL user 29%).  


Every product category is a good category for BNPL-usage. Shoppers who use BNPL buy almost equal amounts across the different divisions, with a slight advantage in Fashion and Cosmetics (NL BNPL shoppers buy in Fashion 32%, Cosmetics 35%, Home Improvement 29%, Travel/Tickets 29% + DE BNPL shoppers buy in Fashion 39%, Cosmetics 39%, Home Improvement 33%, Travel/Tickets 35%). As the payment method increases in popularity, the desire to use it in many more, if not all thinkable, categories.  


** the usage of BNPL-services is not limited to single demographics. People from various income brackets, life stages, ages, can find value in BNPL, depending on their financial goals, preferences, and individual circumstances.