With no interest or transaction fees, Afterpay has certainly tapped into Millennials’ spending habits and pockets. The popular “buy now pay later” platform has seen extreme growth since its launch in August 2017, and has attracted Australian merchants eager to pair with the electronic lay-by service.
However, Afterpay has fallen under recent scrutiny from industry commentators. Following the release of a report by governance group Ownership Matter, which raised concerns that the platform may be at regulatory risk, Afterpay saw a recent plummet in stock prices. Do these market challenges reflect a change in consumer demand?
Share Price vs. Engagement
Despite speculation as to whether Afterpay can maintain its growth momentum, it is evident looking at Hitwise data that the service still shows a consistent upwards traffic trajectory.
Even during their fall in stock prices, Afterpay didn’t decline in consumers’ minds. Searches surrounding Afterpay remained strong within the public sphere during their early April lull in the stock market.
Youthful Target Audience
As Millennials adopt and drive Afterpay’s growth, it’s obvious the brand has effectively captured a younger audience. Of the almost 400,000 Australians that visited the site within the past month, nearly a quarter (94,285) were aged between 25-34 years old. Their audience are also 16% more likely to be 18-24 years old, meaning they are successfully reaching the youngest consumers — and tomorrow’s biggest shoppers.
Looking at the state breakdown, Tasmanian’s are 56% more likely than the rest of Australia to be utilising the service. However, it was New South Wales that saw the largest audience size Afterpay.com. As for household income, Afterpay’s audience was 4% more likely to have a total household income of $24,999, but the largest group pulled over $150,000 per year.
*Compared to the online population
*4 weeks ending April 21st 2018
Ranking Afterpay’s Retailer Reliance
Retail is the foundation of Afterpay — but which sub-categories are driving Afterpay’s success?
We charted the top retail industries driving traffic to Afterpay.com, from its launch through the 2017 holidays, in order to identify key categories supporting Afterpay adoption. The Apparel & Accessories industry doubled its traffic flow (+8%) to Afterpay during the holiday period, while Department Stores increased traffic to Afterpay.com by 5.5%. Fashion lifestyle content was not as strong of a channel driver during the holiday period, nor were sports retailers or office supplies.
Big Afterpay Brands
Drilling further down into December, we charted Australia’s top ten most popular Afterpay brands. In spite of a smaller share of traffic from office supplies overall, Afterpay receives the most traffic from Officeworks, followed by department stores Target Australia, Big W and Myer. The service even receives interest from boating sites like BCF and auto supply sites, such as Super Cheap Auto.
Whilst Afterpay has been rapidly adopted into Australian shopping behaviour, the spotlight has also placed Afterpay under a lot of scrutiny. The data suggests, however, that this lag in share prices has not affected consumer or the merchant demand. For now, Millennial’s desire for instant gratification — and a service that provides it — shows no signs of slowing.