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Why Moss Bros is banking on ‘pay later’

moss bros

Moss Bros is hoping its new “pay later” option will boost sales over the peak trading period.

The menswear retailer announced in early September that it has partnered with payment provider Klarna to introduce a pay later option. Customers can pay for items up to 14 days after purchase without accruing interest or paying fees.

The aim was to reduce some of the anxiety around payments, Moss Bros head of ecommerce Matthew Henton told delegates at the Drapers Fashion Forum in London.

It comes after the proportion of online sales made via mobile soared.

“Putting a 16-digit credit card number into a phone can be awkward,” said Henton. “Also, people are less comfortable pulling out their credit card on crowded train. Pay later allows us to skip that part of the journey for those customers – they just give us the basic information that allows us to ship and they can pay later on a device they feel comfortable with.”

Pay later has also allowed Moss Bros customers to recreate the experience of trying on suits in the changing room, at home.

“It allows them to buy more than one size or style and return whatever they don’t want,” explained Henton.

Henton said it was too soon to assess the impact on return rates. However, he argued that any increase in returns should be offset by an improved customer experience.

“Of course there are operational costs involved in processing returns and stock being out of the business, but so be it. The most import thing is that the customer gets the product that’s right for him. If he loves it, he’ll come back to Moss Bros and shop again.”

Henton pointed out that Moss Bros has a high average order value, as suits are typically the most expensive item in a man’s wardrobe. As a result, transactions spike on and just after pay day. He said the hope is that pay later will “smooth demand throughout the month”.

Moss Bros will watch to see if this is the case on Black Friday, which this year falls on 23 November – a few days before many people’s pay day. 

“Pay later will allow customers to shop on Black Friday and pay after pay day. Hopefully it will drive growth,” said Henton.

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