Afterpay, QuadPay, Sezzle Or Something Else? Brand Founders Share The Payment Installment Platforms They Use.

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 15 brand and e-tailer founders and executives: Do you use Afterpay, QuadPay or other payment installment platforms on your e-commerce website?

Kristian Edwards Founder, BLK+GRN

We wanted to give our customers as many options as possible to buy natural products, so we installed Afterpay. Afterpay allows customers to pay for their purchase in four interest-free installments due every two weeks. Our customers pay the first installment at the time of purchase, and the remainder over six weeks. We pay a 4.17% merchant fee. Even with the expense of the system, we are convinced that it is worth it because of the conversion increase. 

We installed QuickPay on our website in April 2019, and we have processed over $15,000. Customers who would have abandoned their cart or made the cart smaller are now completing their full order. It has definitely helped us with conversions!

Ada Polla CEO, Alchimie Forever

Such a timely question! We just implemented Afterpay in January 2020. I saw one of their C-level managers speak at the WWD Beauty Summit conference last summer and was intrigued. While our brand is approachable in terms of price points—$25 to $99 price range—I like the flexibility that this gives our customer.  

We work hard on making everything about purchasing easy and convenient, and this definitely falls in the convenience bucket in my mind. It is too soon to identify the full impact that this will have on our online sales, but I can tell you we have already seen a significant number of orders using Afterpay just a few weeks after implementation.

Marcella Cacci CEO and Founder, One Ocean Beauty

We use Afterpay on our site. It’s been very successful for us, with about 5.5% of our e- commerce business coming through the platform. Our partnership has provided another option and additional convenience to our customers.

Anya Kudrjasova Creative Director, Glowdust Beauty

We had gone through the steps to onboard and set up QuadPay. However, after much internal discussions, we decided to focus on our subscriptions rather than payment plans. Our products are ones that customers will be using consistently, and we would rather allow them to try it for cheaper on the first purchase and increase their lifetime loyalty with Glowdust.

Calvin Quallis CEO and Founder, Scotch Porter

We do not use Afterpay or Quadpay. We use Affirm instead. Affirm has helped with increasing our on-site conversion rate by about 18%.

JULISSA PRADO Founder and CEO, Rizos Curls

We use Sezzle. For us, it’s been the best one based on the fees and the ease of use. It’s hard to say how many new customers we’ve acquired because of it, but we do see how many customers like to use it. In terms of payment source options, I think it’s nice to offer them all up to customers and let them choose.  

For us, 10% to 15% of our sales are paid through Sezzle. It’s not a super high number, but it is still a substantial amount of customers that like to use it.  The fees are double those of credit cards or PayPal, but it’s nice to give customers the choice for paying in installments if that’s what they’d like to do. 

Jordynn Wynn Co-Founder, Insert Name Here

We use Quadpay on our site, and I think it definitely helps with site conversion. Our product is all about experimentation and we have a young gen Z/millennial audience. Giving the customer the opportunity to “buy now, pay later” lowers the purchase friction and, not only gives them the confidence to convert, but also, in some cases, buy more.

Drea Gunness Groeschel Founder and CEO, Beautiac

We don’t currently, but we are looking into implementing Afterpay for 2020.  For beauty products, which can add up, I think it’s an interesting way to get the splurge item from time to time and have the ability to break it into payments. The only caution is that I would not want to be contributing to America’s debt-strapped society. So, it’s a fine line. I hope consumers use it responsibly.  

Sahar Saidi Founder and CEO, LUS Brands

I have chosen not to incorporate these payment options, mainly because I don't want to get into the collections business! As a direct-to-consumer brand, we get to leverage having no/low AR, and I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible. Also, given the low price points of our products, I'm not convinced that the sales uptick from these added features will justify the additional headcount and/or systems required to effectively manage a fractional payment processing system. Our team is still very small, and I want to keep things as simple as possible for now.

JAMIKA MARTIN Founder, Rosen Skincare

We use Afterpay, and we love it! Customers generally enjoy checking out with it, and we have a big chunk of them who use it. We've grown pretty steadily, so it's hard to say if our sales increased due to it, and we also could do a better job of advertising it on our product pages. Cart size went up, but not too drastically since the Afterpay minimum is fairly low.

Katonya Breaux Founder, Unsun Cosmetics

We started using Afterpay about six months ago, but have not seen any benefit from it. I'm thinking that it has more to do with our price point than the effectiveness of the company. Since our products are less than $50 and our buyer tends to be a little more established, the service isn't used.

ROZY KRISTON Founder, Ampersand

We use Afterpay for a few reasons. First, it breaks down barriers for customers who are interested in purchasing our products, but hesitant to invest in a new brand. Second, by helping customers pay as they use, it can break down the cost over the same timeframe of a 60-day supply. And, lastly, it has exposed us to a new audience of customers who have found us through their loyalty to these apps.

Britta Chatterjee Co-Founder, Odele

As our dollar ring isn’t very high—we launched January 26, 2020—we haven’t felt the need to yet, but are considering partnering with Sezzle, which offers similar services, but is very merchant-friendly for businesses our size.

Shivonie Tirbhawandat Founder, Sahasra

I installed Afterpay on our website a year ago. I noticed customers who use it are those who tend to place larger orders or purchase higher-priced items.

YOEL VAISBERG Founder and CEO, Haielle

Actually, the first time I learned about financing platforms for e-commerce was a few months ago at IBE LA 2020, when Chaim Lever, co-founder of Four, explained the benefits of this type of service. I was ready to sign up with them, but, a few weeks ago, the company decided to focus exclusively on Shopify-based stores, while ours works with WooCommerce.

Chaim was very helpful in sharing his professional advice and recommended we take a look at Afterpay. One of their main benefits is the shop directory, where they feature the brands they partner with. I decided to give it a try. I finished the onboarding process about two weeks ago, and I’ve seen an increase in traffic to our website. Most of the visitors come to window shop, and that allows us to obtain their contact information through a welcome pop-up, and they become new leads. A few of them have also placed orders.

Afterpay charges brands around 6% commission on the order, which includes the 3% credit card processing fee charged anyway with any other payment gateway. So, an additional 3% is definitely worth it, especially for beauty products with enough margins. Keep in mind that the current situation is affecting people’s pockets. This payment option will lean the customer toward completing the purchase, therefore increasing the conversion rates.

Given the simplicity of the onboarding process and reasonable fees, I definitely recommend other founders to include this type of service in their payment methods. I would especially recommend Four because of their personalized customer service and most likely lower commission or Afterpay because of the exposure for the brand.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to [email protected].