Leading Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider, Afterpay has introduced a new merchant analytics platform, Afterpay iQ, which delivers data directly to retailers and merchants to optimise investment and drive growth.

The majority of Afterpay’s 100,000-plus retailers will receive access to Afterpay iQ across FY22, which provides AI-powered insights, visualisations and real-time data in a single self-service user interface.

It also provides the opportunity to evaluate Afterpay performance against sales, frequency and average order value, as well as a recommendation engine to optimise business performance.

The platform launch coincides with the release of Afterpay’s quarterly report, the Next Gen Index, which revealed that Millennials and Gen Z’s share of spending will increase to 47% by 2030 and the way they’re spending shows an increasing preference for BNPL.

In Australia, BNPL usage has increased by 174% among Gen Z and 110% among Millennials since January 2020. Credit card spending has remained static among Millennials and older generations and fell around 7% for Gen Z. Similarly, debit spending trails BNPL, up just 20% across all three generations.

Afterpay chief strategy officer, Mark Teperson said Gen Z and Millennials are driving change at the intersection of culture and commerce, so it’s no surprise they have been key adopters of Afterpay and BNPL more generally.

“This demographic is set to account for nearly half of the globe’s retail spend by 2030. Their influence on the economy will only continue to grow, especially as they reach peak earning years,” he said.

“Having built its business by connecting Millennial and Gen Z shoppers to the best brands in the world, Afterpay is in a strong position to help its retailers navigate this demographic by providing unparalleled insights into the world’s hardest to reach customer cohorts”. 

The first half of the year resulted in a drop in spending among younger shoppers. Millennials and Gen Z are currently spending 5% and 7% less than pre-COVID levels, compared to December 2020, where spending was up 10% on pre-pandemic levels. 

Encouragingly, growth in spending in small businesses remains solid, up 20% YoY for Millennials and 45% YoY for Gen Z. Roughly two thirds (67%) of all Afterpay spend in small businesses is driven by Gen Z and Millennials, proving their desire to support small and local businesses.

The categories in which Aussies are spending has drastically changed in the first six months of 2021. In December 2020, younger Aussies were investing in their homes with household and department store purchases making them the fastest-growing categories.