Afterpay, which has added partnerships with Gap, Crocs and Chico’s FAS just in the past few months, experienced a substantial increase in average basket size over the holiday shopping season, it said Monday.
From Oct. 1 through the end of December, the Australian pay-later giant said the average basket size among its U.S. customers increased 30 percent year over year. Traffic to Afterpay’s brand partners was also strong, it added, with the company seeing a 145 percent year-over-year jump in referrals to global merchants from its shop directory.
Over the holiday shopping season, thermal knits, pajamas and socks from Old Navy topped Afterpay’s list of most purchased items, it said. In footwear, Crocs, fleece-lined boots and slippers all proved to be popular.
Shakaila Forbes-Bell, Afterpay’s resident consumer psychologist, said consumers seek simplicity and familiarity in times of crisis. “During a particularly challenging holiday season, it’s no surprise that shoppers turned to the ‘good old days’ and the associated fashions to bring about a positive emotional response,” she added. “Nostalgia has been shown to lift our mood, give us a positive outlook and even make us feel physically warm.”
In October, Afterpay unveiled a contactless payment option for shoppers using its app, allowing them to pay for purchases made in participating brands’ physical stores. Demand for this service has grown rapidly, it said, with more than 2 million customers having set up the Afterpay Card since it went live in the fall.
“As shoppers returned to stores this holiday season, we saw a rise in services like buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and contactless payments,” Alex Fisher, Afterpay’s vice president of retail, said in a statement. “Afterpay is at the forefront of these safe and seamless shopping experiences.”
Afterpay Card may be many customers’ first experience with contactless payment. According to a company survey, Fisher said, 32 percent of Afterpay’s in-store shoppers had never used contactless payments before trying it with Afterpay. “We’re proud to be driving the adoption of both contactless payments and flexible spending in stores—meeting the demand for a true omnichannel experience for retailers and shoppers alike,” Fisher said.
The Aussie fintech has seen particularly strong growth in its fastest-growing region, the United States. In November, monthly underlying sales in the U.S. surpassed Australia and New Zealand for the first time. The total number of customers that have signed up for Afterpay in the U.S. now exceeds 13 million, it said.
Afterpay has nearly 64,000 global retail partners “with a strong pipeline of new merchants preparing to launch in 2021,” it said. The service is currently available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom, where it is known as Clearpay.