Buy-now-pay-later conversion for high-end audio and video items is 25% higher with Affirm compared with other payment methods on Monoprice.com.

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Richard Tseng, vice president of marketing, ecommerce and technology, Monoprice Inc.

Affordable prices. That’s what online consumer electronics retailer Monoprice Inc. says has kept it a go-to source for tech accessories ranging from HDMI cables that cost less than $11 to full audio systems that include subwoofers, amplifiers and speakers that cost upward of $4,000. Monoprice has a mix of direct-to-consumer as well as small- and mid-sized-business customers.

In 2019, Monoprice.com began offering buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) service Affirm at checkout to accommodate customers interested in more expensive purchases. The implementation process took about six weeks and was straightforward, says Richard Tseng, vice president of marketing, ecommerce and technology.

“The difference in customer orders paid using Affirm was obvious,” Tseng says.

Tracking average order value can be tricky

Tracking Monoprice’s average order value (AOV) is tricky, Tseng says. A portion of customers shop on Monoprice.com for its lower-cost cables and accessories like connective cables and wall mounts for equipment. A different set of customers purchase more expensive setups, whether for a home office, gaming setup or video/audio system.

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“We have consumers that come to us to buy $20 to $30 at a time, as well as those looking upward of a $2,000 or $3,000 sound system,” Tseng says.

Tseng says Monoprice tracks product categories and purchasing behavior, and the company found that compared with Monoprice.com’s overall AOV of $90, customers that pay using Affirm jump to $400-$500 AOV — an increase of 400%.

“It’s an interesting curve,” Tseng says. “Customers will use Affirm to buy one high-end item, but then we also see customers buying multiple items that end up costing as much as $4,000 to $5,000.”

There is no “all-encompassing” measure of AOV, Tseng says. This bodes true for conversion as well, as Tseng says the online retailer has not experienced a change in overall Affirm-related conversion-rate shifts — except for certain categories.

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“But for customers shopping specific categories, like audio and video, we do see a 20% to 30% higher conversion rate,” he says.

Tseng says customers who use Affirm do so infrequently.

“Once you buy a $4,000 audio set, you’re probably not coming back [to Monoprice.com] too often after that,” he says.

Monoprice did not disclose what rate it pays Affirm. Currently, Affirm advertises that it charges a transaction fee of $0.30 and a merchant discount rate (MDR) of 5.99%. Monoprice product pages include an Affirm payment breakdown underneath the product description indicating that financing is available for customers on orders more than $50.

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Once at checkout, customers are shown different payment options, including one-button PayPal, Amazon Pay, PayPal credit, and Click to Pay. If a customer selects Affirm, a pop-up window shows the different payment option breakdowns based on timeline. If a customer is shopping on their mobile device, a one-button Venmo option also appears.

“The user experience for Affirm is really streamlined,” Tseng says. “It was easy to implement and not much of a challenge for our IT staff.”

Monoprice is No. 252 in Digital Commerce 360’s Top 1000.

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