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In the last few months, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) trend has considerably influenced the B2B e-commerce space. Online marketplaces are seeing increased revenues by implementing credit-like payment settlement schemes spread over three to four months.
There is an easy way to understand the B2B BNPL trend. It is often the case that tried and tested paths laid down by B2C are then replicated in B2B transactions. Some commentators have even said that BNPL is just a savvy repackaging of an old practice in the B2B industry.
Can Buy Now Pay Later be more than just a rebranding of trade credit for the B2B industry? AI-powered B2B invoicing solution Biller’s CEO Derek Vreeburg certainly thinks so.
Biller’s Vreeburg told PYMNTS recently that while the idea of paying later has existed for decades, the need for BNPL is evident in the evolving needs of both e-commerce sellers and buyers. “It all comes down to a new generation of B2B buyers,” said Vreeburg. “The majority are millennials, and they grew up with technology by buying online.”
After being exposed to BNPL in the B2C space, millennials and e-commerce shoppers are starting to come to B2B purchasing with the same expectations.
The challenges for sellers with offering BNPL are not the easiest to overcome, and that’s what modern BNPL solutions are trying to fix. “If you really want to unburden the seller, then you need to blend in with their current ecosystem,” noted Vreeburg. “You see a lot of solutions that are a single solution, where you have to integrate it separately.”
When it comes to user-friendly interfaces and seamless payment experiences, B2C transactions have already set the bar very high to retain customers and reduce cart abandonment. With BNPL services entering the B2B space, a similar upliftment for B2B interfaces is the need of the hour.
There are notable differences between B2B and B2C in terms of the approach to BNPL. Vreeburg informed PYMNTS that with B2C, it is nearly impossible to customize services for the needs of individual customer profiles. With a lower number of such profiles in the B2B space, BNPL can tailor payment methods based on the customer’s individual needs and preferences.
Integrating a BNPL option at the point of sale can serve the needs of both customers and sellers, according to Vreeberg. “Buyers and sellers are both struggling with their cash flow,” he pointed out. Flexibility on both sides can be a win-win for buyers and sellers in the B2B space. It is only a matter of time, then, before we see the widespread integration of BNPL in B2B e-commerce marketplaces.