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09/16/2021

PetSmart offers ‘buy now pay later’ installment payments

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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PetSmart
PetSmart is teaming up with Afterpay to accept flex payments.

PetSmart has joined the growing ranks of retailers letting customers buy now and pay later.

The pet supplies and services retailer is collaborating with “buy now pay later” (BNPL) platform Afterpay to give customers the opportunity to have flexible payment options when shopping both in-store and online.  PetSmart customers using Afterpay can make purchases and pay for them in four interest-free installments, due every two weeks. Customers will receive their products upfront just like any other purchase method, but have the option to pay over time. Afterpay is available to use for purchase of all PetSmart products, as well as pet services like grooming, training, day camps and more.

As the largest omnichannel specialty pet retailer, PetSmart is the first company of its kind to offer Afterpay's BNPL service. Having recently added offerings like curbside pickup and same-day delivery, the addition of Afterpay is part of PetSmart's strategy to give customers more omnichannel shopping and fulfillment flexibility.

Buy-now-pay-later continues to grow as a popular omnichannel payment option. Financial payments company Square recently acquired Afterpay in a $29 billion megadeal. Square made that significant purchase as Afterpay has been adding a number of major retailers to its platform.

Retailers including Amazon, CVS, Dell, Kroger, Macy's, Nike, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Sephora, Target, Victoria's Secret, Walgreens, and Yeti now all offer the Afterpay flexible payment option via the Afterpay mobile app to pay in four interest-free installments. App users who are selected by Afterpay to participate will be able to take items home immediately. Retailers including The Container StoreGap Inc., and Urban Outfitters have all rolled out Afterpay flexible payments in the past few years.

Afterpay uses a one-time card to facilitate the purchase. The payment details are automatically populated at checkout, helping to ensure a seamless checkout experience. According to Afterpay, these retailers represent almost half of all U.S. e-commerce volume. Eligible customers can choose these retailers in the Afterpay Shop Directory and then pay with Afterpay. 

More broadly, 45.1 million U.S consumers ages 14 and older will use a BNPL platform this year, up 81.2% over last year, according to eMarketer. This represents more than one-fifth (21.5%) of digital buyers in the United States. By 2025, the figure will grow to more than one-third. Younger consumers are driving adoption of flexible payments, eMarketer said. Millennials account for 42.7% of BNPL, followed by Gen Zers, which account for 30.3%.

"Afterpay empowers our customers with the financial freedom and flexibility to make purchases at PetSmart quickly and easily – and on their terms," said Will Smith, senior VP and chief marketing officer, PetSmart. "We're excited to provide this innovative program to our customers, whether they're shopping in store or online."

"By joining forces with PetSmart, we are meeting the growing demand of pet ownership by younger generations during what continues to be uncertain times," said Zahir Khoja, GM of Afterpay North America. "Starting today, PetSmart customers can budget the costs that come with caring for a pet while avoiding revolving debt and expensive, interest-bearing credit products."

PetSmart operates approximately 1,650 pet stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel dog and cat boarding facilities. Founded in Australia in 2015, Afterpay is offered by nearly 100,000 global retailers, with nearly 20 million customers in North America.