Try Before You Buy vs. Klarna - what’s the difference?

Distinguishing between Try Before You Buy offerings like Blackcart and Buy Now Pay later offerings like Klarna. 


There’s no denying the high-stake stress your customers feel when shopping online. It involves a lot of guesswork trying to figure out if something will fit, how it looks in person, or if the quality is good. Shoppers are expected to put hundreds of dollars upfront without so much as seeing an item in real life. So when faced with this anxiety at checkout, many of them will opt to abandon their cart altogether. 


That’s why many brands have adopted financing solutions for their online store. An example of this is Klarna - a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) eCommerce service that allows shoppers to split an online transaction in x number of installments. They essentially issue a loan that a customer can pay off over time - typically every 2 weeks.

Group 47951 (3)

Why Klarna?

BNPL services like Klarna solve for many of the financial barriers that come with online shopping. Klarna merchants are able to help their customers afford a purchase that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to pay for in full. And while a failed credit check or late payments could tick points off your credit score, shoppers shouldn’t run into any problems if they pay off their loan on time. 

Group 47950Why Blackcart? 

Try Before You Buy (TBYB), on the other hand, allows shoppers to experience items at home, before committing to an upfront purchase online. It replicates the in-store shopping experience where customers can touch, feel, and try something before they checkout at the register. Blackcart merchants help customers answer the questions they’re faced with around the sizing, appearance, or quality of products online. Shoppers are automatically charged for the items they keep at the end of this trial period. 


What is the difference? 

While these sound like a lot of buzzwords, there’s a clear distinction between Try Before You Buy and Buy Now Pay Later, and it lies in the type of solution each one offers. BNPL helps convert shoppers who would have otherwise abandoned their cart due to financial reasons. But it doesn’t solve for the fundamental problem behind online shopping - which is uncertainty, not necessarily affordability. 


Your shoppers want to make purchases, but it’s the fear and uncertainty of online shopping that weighs them down. Even when they have the means to finance their purchase, it doesn’t stop the hesitancy they feel at checkout when wondering how an item looks in person. At this point, 55% of shoppers will abandon their cart if they cannot find answers to their questions. 


TBYB works by eliminating the usual risks with online shopping: browser uncertainty, upfront payments, purchase-commitment anxiety, and frustrating returns. It helps convert shoppers who would have abandoned their cart due to the risk levels. Not to mention, when shoppers are given the confidence to fill their cart, they end up trying more and buying more, resulting in increased average order value and net revenues for your store. 


The concept of trying before buying isn’t new, shoppers have been doing it for years in brick-and-mortar. But it’s new when it comes to eCommerce. Customers are highly receptive to it because it’s the way they have always shopped - trying first, then deciding to purchase. Uptake rates for TBYB average around 38%, compared to 7% with BNPL. This means 38% of your shoppers will choose to checkout with TBYB as opposed to 7% checking out with BNPL.

At a glance: functional differences between TBYB and BNPL. 



Blackcart (TBYB)

Klarna (BNPL)

No credit card holds

No credit checks

No credit score impact

Returns management

Mixed shopping cart

Minimal costs

Shopper opt-in rate



Solves for 




How do I choose the right service for my shoppers? 

There’s different factors to consider when deciding between solutions. If you want to help shoppers solve solely financial concerns, you’re likely to profit off a BNPL offering. Alternatively, if you want to get your products in the hands of more shoppers while eliminating all the usual risk and uncertainty, then TBYB is a great solution. 


It’s important to note that TBYB and BNPL aren’t mutually exclusive - they can both successfully exist on your online store. In fact, many Blackcart merchants also use Klarna. TBYB is the next step in eCommerce that can work in conjunction with BNPL to give shoppers the best of both worlds. BNPL is a great start - it allows shoppers to take more control of their online spending. But for many customers it doesn’t help address the main reason they’re unwilling to checkout, which is their inability to touch, see, and try before paying. Only a TBYB offering can help address that concern and increase conversion among shoppers. 


Want to learn more? Schedule a free demo with a Blackcart team member. 

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