Despite massive disruption the retail landscape across Australia amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, it is expected that the massive shift towards online shopping will persist even after the pandemic. Lockdowns led to a 29% month-to-month increase in e-commerce spending from March to April.
While initially most Australians shopping online were going for household essential items and groceries, NineforBrands reported recently that non-essential items account for up to 66% of the total online purchases, a clear indication that folks are becoming more comfortable with e-commerce.
Putting the pandemic aside, it’s clear that recent innovations have seen consumers dispelling the myth that online shopping is a fizzer. In 2018, 73% of households bought items from online stores. However, it is worth noting that e-commerce accounted for only 10% of the total retail spending towards the end of 2018.
Two factors led the way in increasing pre-pandemic online spending: payment innovation and ease of delivery.
As Covid-19 necessitated lockdowns across the nation, going to the nearest store was no longer an option. The isolation measures drove more online purchases, even for goods that were traditionally underrepresented in online purchases. Such items included sporting items, consumer electronics, beauty, personal care, home improvement, and consumer electronics.
Are the New e-commerce spending habits here to stay?
While Covid-19 has changed many cultural norms it also taught us that the future is always unpredictable. Although authorities have loosened harsh restrictions countrywide, many areas are still under some limiting policies. Coupled with this is the near constant media barrage of COVID-19 related coverage keeping the pandemic front of mind. Therefore, many people have likely normalized online shopping. Its thought that once consumers have successfully purchased desired goods online and had a great experience whether through lower prices, bigger range, or just overall convenience it’s a behaviour that is unlikely to revert.
AdNews: Online Shopping Orders
NineforBrands: The evolution of the Australian consumer during the Covid-19
Auspost: Inside Australian Online Shopping
Tim is a Senior Partner at machete.systems