Last week’s Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Pop-up Event at The Capital, hosted by Chris Titley revealed the serial entrepreneur, Afterpay Australia Managing Director and Co-Founder, Nick Molnar.
If you haven’t already heard of it, Afterpay allows you to shop now and pay later over four equal fortnightly instalments. Alex and his business partner Anthony Eisen launched Afterpay in 2014 after identifying a gap in the Australian payments market. Afterpay has seen huge success and is now partnered with hundreds of Australia’s leading retailers such as Myer, The Iconic, General Pants, Topshop, Officeworks and so on. The company was also awarded “FinTech Innovator in Payments” at the inaugural FinTech Awards 2016.
During the discussion, Alex shared insight into some of his key learnings and tips for aspiring startups. Firstly, he stressed the value of data, commenting “you can’t fight the data” and that Afterpay was “absolutely a data company”. Data and analytics provide Afterpay with huge insight into their customers’ behavior and as such have allowed the company to create extremely well defined audience profiles.
The advantage of this means that Afterpay can adjust messaging to speak directly to these audience profiles, increasing the brand awareness and engagement and strengthening their stakeholder relationships and loyalty. Alex stressed the importance of tone for their brand and how speaking to clients via digital marketing methods needs to have the same tone as a face-to-face encounter.
Social media has played a large role in the company’s brand awareness, Afterpay currently has 70,000+ Facebook Company Page Likes. Gaining popularity, Afterpay fans created the “We The Afterpay Australia” Facebook Group which now has 94,000+ members and is used as a discussion forum.
Afterpay took opportunities such as engaging with group members to find out their loves and frustrations of the product. Some feedback included not being able to purchase from brands such as Mimco and Myer. With simple suggestions such as lodging customer feedback to these brands, they were soon onboard with Afterpay. The group members were happy they were able to purchase the products, the brands were happy with the extra sales and Afterpay gained another client – all because of their social media brand advocates. Check out Afterpay’s social media brand advocates’ most recent campaign, the “Kmart needs Afterpay” Facebook page with 8,000+ likes. If history is anything to go by, it looks like Kmart will being joining the Afterpay shop directory in the near future.
Nick offered a few tips to his startup and entrepreneur community:
- Surround yourself with good people
- Dare yourself to be brave
It’s been a huge journey so far and although he hasn’t quite mastered the art of work-life balance, Alex is excited to see the impact Afterpay can have on the retail industry. He also believes we will see a lot more of AI and VR in the retail future. Using technology to increase the customer experience is a key focus area for Afterpay. Instantaneous gratification is extremely powerful and has become the expectation of Millennials. Afterpay is cracking the millennial code with the intelligent algorithm behind their systems, great customer service and instant gratification.
See Afterpay.com.au for more information.