The State of Digital Payment Acceptance in U.S. Online Retail


Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay; alternative payments are a hot topic. And they’re essential for seamless checkout experiences, especially when consumers shop on their smartphones. But what options do traders offer? And what are consumers actually using? Forrester dived into 100 retailer sites to determine the state of alternative payment acceptance in U.S. online retail, and we cross-referenced what we found with what we know from Forrester data. on consumer behavior.

From this review, we found that:

  • Forty-two percent of retailers in our study accept Apple Pay, but consumer usage is low. Apple Pay is the second most popular digital payment method among retailers. However, while nearly half of American adults online are aware of it, only 17% have used it in the past three months. And Apple Pay usage is higher among younger consumers.
  • For consumers who are aware of this, the use of installment payments is high. Around a quarter of the retailers we assessed offered some form of installment payment option (eg Affirm or Afterpay). And awareness and adoption of these methods by American adults online remains extremely low. However, one glimmer of hope: on the small percentage of consumers who are aware installment payment methods, the adoption is quite high. Merchants, if you offer installment payments, you need to market them.
  • PayPal remains the most widely used digital payment, especially for consumers over 35. Eighty-three percent of the retailers we reviewed offer PayPal on their sites. While PayPal was the most used alternative payment method across all age groups, consumers aged 35 or older are more likely to have used PayPal in the past three months than their younger counterparts.
  • Alternative payments can facilitate online payment experiences. Convenience isn’t the magic bullet to get consumers to adopt new payment methods, but it is a necessary ingredient. Some retailers are releasing alternative payments from checkout page limits to promote their availability and encourage consumers to convert. For example, Carhartt has the PayPal button right on its product detail pages.

This post was written by Senior Analyst Lily Varon, and it originally appeared here.

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