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Afterpay is now beating Apple, Google, and PayPal on this crucial operating metric

Amazon boss Geoff Bezos has often talked about it as the most important operating metric for any fast-growing consumer-facing tech business to deliver on.

In fact during the early days of Amazon critics often labelled Bezos a fool for focusing on this metric too much ahead of profitability.

Given Amazon is now nearly the world’s largest company it seems Bezos was correct in claiming this metric must be delivered before all others if you want to build a successful consumer-facing blue-chip business of tomorrow.

Fortunately for Afterpay Touch Group Ltd’s (ASX: APT) evangelical-like base of shareholders according to a Roy Morgan Single Source Australia survey it’s now ahead of tech giants like Apple Inc. Google, PayPal and Samsung on this operating metric. 

So what metric am I talking about?

AML / KYC compliance. Nope, only kidding.

It’s customer satisfaction of course.

Check out the table below that shows just how much Afterpay’s user base loves the product. 

Source: Roy Morgan, September 6, 2019.

Customer satisfaction is crucial to every consumer-facing business because the more customers enjoy a product the more likely they’re to use it again.

Afterpay’s business model is largely a scale game given the very skinny margins, while regular users are also more valuable as the credit risk is lower the longer a customer’s track record of paying it back on time.

Regular users also involve less pesky admin or cost in terms of on-boarding and verifying a new user’s ID for example, as such they’re higher margin.

The point for investors is that in having a ‘net promoter’ score ahead of payment giants like Apple, Google and PayPal it seems Afterpay’s alternative to a credit card product is wildly popular. 

That’s backed up by its astonishing growth rates in Australia, the US and UK, with it reportedly attracting over 12,500 new users per day in August 2019!

Its breakneck growth has even see Afterpay become a verb like Google, as users ‘afterpay’ purchases and talk of before and afterpay. 

For investors if Afterpay’s launch does prove a seminal  moment in how developed world consumers access short-term retail credit then the company’s value and stock will probably run higher. 

However, it’s operating in an increasingly competitive space (rival ZIP Co. Ltd is also on the chart) where its margins (what it charges retailers) could come under pressure.

Therefore any investment in Afterpay should only be a small part of a balanced investment portfolio. 

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Tom Richardson owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO, Amazon, and Apple.

You can find Tom on Twitter @tommyr345

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Amazon, PayPal and Apple. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and ZIPCOLTD FPO and has the following options: short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple, short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple, and long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Amazon, and Apple. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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