The Afterpay Bi-Annual Global

Fashion & Beauty
Trend Report

Welcome to our second installment of
Afterpay’s Bi-Annual Global Trend Report

Here we have aggregated recent purchases made by our global customer base of almost 10 million, across our catalog of 55,000+ brands and retailers, to identify the season’s key trends and shopping patterns.

What sets our report apart is our use of actual, up-to-the-moment customer purchase data, coupled with the fact that an overwhelming majority of Afterpay users are categorized as Millennials and Gen Z.

This is not a wide-spectrum forecast.

Rather, we are uniquely positioned to present a definitive guide to the global fashion and beauty landscape through the lens of how the world’s highest-value and most powerful demographic is spending its money.

The effects of COVID-19

As we know, the shift to e-commerce has accelerated at its fastest ever rate in 2020. By May, it was up 70% year-over-year and had reached $82.5 billion in the US alone. In the last few months, people who have never shopped online had no choice but to do so. People who already shopped online either expanded the categories they purchased across, or the frequency at which they were transacting.

What is clear is customers were and are still purchasing - but what they’re purchasing has changed. Purchasing behavior reflects the shift in the external environment. Categories such as beauty, fitness, and home decor grew in demand. People also showed support for small and local businesses.

A look at the Global Afterpay Consumer

Afterpay Customer Profiles

Afterpay Profile: Emma

The US Customer

Emma is from Los Angeles, is 34 years old and lives with her fiancé. They co-manage their budget together.

Emma likes to shop in the morning on her mobile device and spends on average $150 per fashion transaction.

Since the onset of COVID-19 they have been focused on three areas of their financial footprint: spending at local businesses, buying out of necessity, and saving more.

What has helped Emma and her fiancé achieve financial wellness during this time is keeping track of their finances, purchasing items on sale, and budgeting.

While Emma’s spending on travel has certainly decreased, she has been spending more on hobbies, crafts and entertainment to keep busy at home.

What incentivizes Emma to make these purchases are merchants that offer flexible installment payments.

While purchasing beauty and fashion items as gifts is important to Emma, she prioritizes purchases that make her look and feel good, so she can feel more like her normal self.

Afterpay Profile: Amelia

The UK Customer

Amelia is 33 years old and lives in London with her two flatmates. She is paid monthly, so being on top of her budget is very important to her.

Amelia likes to shop in the evening after dinner on her mobile device, and buys approximately three items at checkout.

What matters most to Amelia when she shops is that she is supporting her local businesses. Since COVID-19 started she has been avoiding credit products with interest, and has been keeping closer track of her finances by budgeting.

While Amelia’s spend on travel is significantly down, she has been investing more on home decor in order to make her flat feel like her sanctuary.

Being a Millennial, Amelia recognizes the importance of instalment payments and looks for this option at checkout.

During COVID-19, Amelia has been purchasing fashion and beauty items, both so she can look good for herself and also to help normalise this uncertain time.

Afterpay Profile: Charlotte

The ANZ Customer

Charlotte from Sydney is 35 and has two kids with her husband Dave. She is responsible for managing the family budget.

Charlotte likes to shop at lunchtime on her mobile device and spends on average $150 per transaction.

Quality over quantity is important to Charlotte, when shopping, particularly since the onset of COVID-19. Charlotte has also been more cognisant of saving and supporting local businesses in the past few months.

Charlotte has been much more aware of tracking her finances, budgeting and purchasing items at sales since COVID-19 began. Charlotte loves Afterpay as it allows her to better manage her money by linking her account to her debit card and splitting the price tag into instalments.

Charlotte has been spending less on travel given the current restrictions, so instead, has been investing more on activities that she and her husband can do at home with the kids. She’s purchased supplies for gardening, arts & crafts, and games & entertainment.

When Charlotte does shop for herself she invests in her appearance, as she knows when she looks and feels good she is the best version of herself.

Top Global Cities

Afterpay Customers Are Shopping From:




Los Angeles







How are customers shopping in the current landscape?

Since the onset of COVID-19, the global Afterpay customer has focused on purchasing items out of necessity, supporting local businesses, and saving more.


59% of global consumers cite keeping track of finances as more important compared to before the pandemic.

This is followed closely by 57% of global consumers saying budgeting has become more important compared to before the pandemic.

1 in 2

1 in 2 global consumers said they would be more likely to buy items if they had the ability to pay for them in installments.


Nearly 90% of Afterpay’s global customers pay with a debit card.

Using their own money is important to them. 

5 Items

Beauty has been a fan favorite with global Afterpay consumers checking out with at least 5 beauty items (that’s up from 3 items last season).

This could be due to consumers in lockdown doing their own beauty treatments.

The most important factor right now in making a purchase for global customers is - drum roll - looking good for myself.

Over 50% of consumers cite this as their reason for making purchases.