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Jul 2, 2021
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75% of buy now, pay later users in the US are Gen Z or millennials: eMarketer

Published
Jul 2, 2021

Almost 75 percent of buy now, pay later (BNPL) users in the U.S. are Generation Z or Millennials, and service providers are starting to target new markets, according to data from eMarketer. 

75% of buy now, pay later users in the US are Gen Z or millennials: eMarketer - Facebook: Afterpay


That includes more than 45 million people ages 14 and older using key service players such as Affirm, Afterpay, and Klarna, which is up an impressive 81.2 percent over 2020. 

“Millennials will continue to make up the greatest share of the user base through the end of our forecast in 2025,” the report noted. “Last year, more than 40 percent of BNPL service users were millennials. That said, Gen Z will eat into this share over the next four years, as this cohort ages into digital shopping.” 

In fact, by the end of 2022, 44.1 percent of Gen Z digital buyers ages 14 and older will have used BNPL services at least once that year, compared with only 37.2 percent of millennial digital buyers.

“A major draw of BNPL services, particularly for younger cohorts, is financial flexibility,” the eMarketer report said. "These solutions provide younger consumers, whose cash flow tends to be more limited, with greater flexibility in payments, especially for larger-ticket items.”

The top items respondents bought using these services include electronics, clothing and fashion items, furniture and appliances, and other digital leisure goods like movies, music, and games. 

Next, BNPL services are also increasingly turning their attention to Gen Xers and baby boomers. To reach them, eMarketer expects to see more BNPL services partnering with stores that have Gen X or boomer clientele in the coming months, just as top providers have long-standing partnerships with the likes of Forever 21 and H&M, to name a few. 

EMarketer forecasts that in 2025, about 30 percent of BNPL service users will comprise of Gen X and baby boomers.

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