What Happens to E-Com Now That Retail is Back?

Power Retail By Power Retail | 12 Jan 2022

Online retail has remained a strong channel for shoppers, even as brick-and-mortar returns, a report from eStore Logistics has found.

As the Australian Bureau of Statistics share yesterday, retail experienced a huge uplift in November 2021, just before the Omicron variant hit.

Even though the online retail figures are slightly lower than months prior, retailers and investors should stay positive about the impact of e-commerce on Australian consumers, eStore explained. There has been a ‘significant shift’ in consumer mindsets across NSW and Victoria, which may come as no surprise as residents stayed home for months on end in 2021.

Data from the eStore Logistics report found that despite stores reopening, consumer preference for e-commerce remains ‘strong’. Sales for sports goods and recreational equipment increased by nine percent, due to the increase in picnics and outdoor gatherings in Spring and early Summer. There was also a 22 percent uptake in apparel and footwear purchases, as consumers plan to dress to the nines as they leave the house. Considering there was a 72 percent decrease in fashion sales in 2020, this leap forward is greatly welcomed.

Despite these increases, there has been a drop in home improvement sales, decreasing by 51 percent from the same period in 2020. Similarly, books and home media sales dropped by two percent. But these figures were partially offset by a one percent increase in health and beauty sales.

“November was an interesting time for e-commerce last year,” said Leigh Williams, the MD of eStore Logistics. “With much of the country eagerly hoping for a return to relative normality following heavy restrictions, the data reflects that consumers were turning to their favourite fashion and sporting equipment online stores to stock up for a more social summer.”

“Whilst trends consistently waver as we navigate the pandemic and the uncertainties that come with it, one thing that remains constant is the continued preference for online retail, from both shoppers and merchants.”

What does Williams believe 2022 has in store for e-commerce? It’s here to stay, obviously. “E-commerce has kept businesses alive throughout 2020 and 2021, with a huge number of merchants making the transition to a fully functioning ecommerce model,” he said. “The leaps that e-commerce has made over the last two years have ensured that online retail will remain an enormous part of the economy, even in a post-pandemic world.”

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