Cyber Week Data Shows Alternative Payment Methods Gaining In Popularity

Like 80% of the population, I do a healthy portion of my shopping via my iPhone—usually while I’m watching TV.

But, here’s what retailers must know about me (and nearly all other shoppers around the globe): If I have to pause my Netflix show and get off my rear to go dumpster diving for my credit card, I won’t buy.


Find New Growth in the Creator Economy

The internet is full of distractions. To reach people, you need to go where they are – consuming the work influencers.

Learn How

I’ve recently made it a rule out of principle that I’ll only purchase if I can use an Alternative Payment Method (APM). My preferred choice is Apple Pay, but I’ll also use PayPal or Amazon Pay—no problem.

There’s a couple of reasons for this:

  1. APMs are convenient. All I have to do is press my thumb on my phone, and my teeth whitening kit shows up at my house 3-5 days later.
  2. It’s a dopamine rush (am I right?).

I love a good random buy from a fun social ad. But, getting off my behind takes all the fun out of impulse purchases, and it gives me time to think, “K, I probably don’t need socks with my dog’s face on them.” And queue me abandoning the cart and unpausing the most recent Ryan Reynolds movie.

I give you this insight into my typical Sunday mornings because I’m representative of the average consumer:

  • 80 million other people play the social shopping game (Statista)
  • Nearly 80% shop on their mobile device (PayPal)
  • 87% of consumers make impulse buys (Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services)

Most significantly: More consumers are completing purchases due to the rise in APMs and Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options.

Cyber Week data from Bolt proves this out and reveals that I’m indeed not alone.

1. Consumers love APMs

According to data from Bolt, APM usage as a share of overall transactions increased significantly this year.

  • The total number of Bolt merchant transactions that used an APM increased by 28% on Black Friday when compared with numbers from 2020
  • The total number of Bolt merchant transactions that used an APM increased by 26% on Cyber Monday when compared with stats from CM 2020

What does this tell us?

It shows consumers love the convenience of APMs. They are responding to merchants who make it convenient to complete purchases.

A respective 28% and 26% increase in YOY numbers is wildly significant. Ultimately, it means now is the time for retailers to update their checkout options if they’re ready for growth.

2. Customers are using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options more now than ever

One of the most remarkable innovations in the merchant services world is BNPL platforms like Affirm, Klarna, and Afterpay.

BNPL makes a difference in overall sales revenue for retailers. In fact, RBC Capital Markets estimates BNPL increases retail conversion rates by 20% to 30% and boosts the average order value (AOV) between 30% and 50%.

These short-term point-of-sale loans have an overall positive effect on retailers.

Consumers love it too.

When we ran this year’s numbers at Bolt, we saw that more consumers used a BNPL option on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday when compared to 2020.

Namely, we saw:

  • The increase on Black Friday in BNPL purchases was 13% when compared with 2020
  • The increase on Cyber Monday in BNPL purchases was 12% when compared with 2020

It goes without saying that hopping on the BNPL bandwagon will increase your revenues. What’s more, it pleases your customers. It makes it possible for budgeters to pay for goods in more manageable monthly chunks.

As more and more consumers look for BNPL options at checkout, adding a BNPL option to your checkout process can increase revenues.

3. Consumers that use APM and BNPL are spending more than they did last year

2020 was a groundbreaking year for ecommerce. The buzz is that 10 years of growth and innovation happened in only 90 days.

More retailers brought their businesses online. Traditional retailers beefed up their ecommerce efforts. Ecomm, social, and payment technology got smarter. But, most significantly, consumers started making online purchases at historically high rates.

While 2020 was huge, 2021 has seen even more sales. For example, worldwide Shopify sales increased by 23% from 2020 to 2021.

Bolt’s numbers show that consumers are spending more with retailers this year. And, customers that are taking advantage of APM and BNPL are spending much more overall this year than they did in 2020.

Here’s what we found:

  • There was a total revenue increase from APM transactions of 40% on Cyber Monday
  • Retailers saw an increase of 13% from BNPL on Cyber Monday

As these trends continue through the rest of the holiday shopping season and into next year, retailers that offer APM and BNPL at checkout will see continuous wins.

Prep for late holiday shoppers now by optimizing your checkout process

If the numbers from Bolt aren’t enough to convince you it’s time for a checkout upgrade, look inwardly.

When was the last time you abandoned your cart because the retailer didn’t offer an APM or BNPL option?


There’s no getting around it. Payment technology has evolved and consumers love it.

They’re proving it with how many more transactions they complete and how much more they spend when APM and BNPL options are in play.

ThinkShop by Bolt does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. Contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation.