Buy now, pay later: Is it a supply chain thing?

Let’s say that you’re the manager of logistics for a major retailer. Led by the sales and marketing groups, your firm has recently implemented the latest rage in e-commerce and retail purchasing practices, “buy now, pay later,” or what we’ll call BNPL. The program allows consumers to make a purchase and receive the merchandise today while making payments over time. Of course, these programs have been around for years. Backed by finance companies, they’ve typically been offered by companies and services providers with expensive products that people used to spend years saving up for, everyone from your local dentist to finance expensive dental procedures like crowns and veneers to furniture retailers. Today, these programs have gone mainstream: Use your Paypal account to buy a $60 pair of shoes online, and Paypal is likely to give you the option of paying for the purchase over four payments to six payments.

It’s easy to see why sales, marketing and finance might love these programs because they potentially open up a new sales channel and increase revenue. But what about supply chain? Perhaps it’s not as simple as it seems on the surface and creates a new set of logistics costs and headaches.

Over the years, you, the supply chain manager, have made the accommodations necessary to facilitate a lay-a-way purchase.

Read the original article from SCMR