Afterpay, the leader in “Buy Now, Pay Later” payments, today released its holiday consumer shopping trends for the 2021 season.1The company’s sales data showed in-store shopping growth of 384% year-on-year, with Black Friday resulting in a 442% increase for in-store shopping on that day alone.2 This strong growth reflects young shoppers’ growing preference to spend responsibly and pay over time to kickstart the new year.
With 100,000 global merchant partners3, more consumers used Afterpay to conquer their holiday shopping list – using their own money to pay over time. This led to a 41% increase in shopping referral traffic to merchants during the holiday shopping period. Customers have also shifted to a mobile-first mindset, with 92% of Afterpay referrals generated from the app.¹
Additional US shopping trends this season included:¹
- Partywear made a festive comeback. In preparation for another possible lockdown, velvet and sequin clothes were party-goers’ wardrobes of choice – increasing by 188% and 146% year-over-year, respectively.
- Twas the season for furry friends. Pet parents actively looked to Afterpay in search of supplies and products to spoil their furry companions with quarterly sales up 376%.
- The return of the department store. Consumers doubled down on department store shopping through the holiday season – up 256% year-on-year.
- Overcoming supply chain woes with a gift card. To avoid shipping delays on physical items, spending on gift cards multiplied by 50x year-on-year.
- Round two for home makeovers. Lockdown fatigue has not slowed down interest in home goods as purchases grew 49% year-over-year.
- A spotlight on diverse businesses. Over half a million customers supported Black and female-owned businesses.
- Shredding cabin fever with snow gear. Demand for skiwear experienced a huge surge due to the popularity of snow sports as social distancing measures eased. It resulted in 10x more customers spending at ski and snow merchants.
- Gender fluid clothing for everyBODY. Genderless products have made fashion more accessible for all body types, with sales for items described as ‘unisex’ within merchants’ gender-inclusive category up 57% year-on-year.
Shakaila Forbes-Bell, Afterpay’s consumer shopping psychologist said, “If 2020 was defined as the year of digital commerce, then 2021 could be considered in-person retail’s homecoming. Not only has this pivot occurred due to our increased desire for socialization, but new research suggests that physically interacting with products in-store provides us with a more “complete cognitive experience”.4With this newfound appetite to go back into stores, consumers showcased braver shopping decisions and emulated their fashion senses across all their lifestyle choices. People will continue to build off their style into their homes or through their pets – cementing these categories from one-off trends to staple items. In this permanent hybrid world, we can expect even more experimental consumer behavior across the board.”
In 2021, Afterpay saved consumers up to $459min credit card fees and interest5, where consumers have used the payment solution to shop online and in physical stores at their favorite brands, including a strong lineup of new merchants to launch this year.