It's been almost a month since Australia entered a nation-wide shutdown, which as impacted the country in numerous ways. Power Retail held its second Let's Regrow Town Hall information session to dissect the impact that COVID-19 has on retail across the country.
It’s hard to comprehend how much change the country has gone through in the last month, as it continues to battle the worldwide spread of COVID-19.
As location began to shut up around the country, the entire retail industry was hit with a significant blow. With mass job losses, store closures and stock-piling across every state, it was difficult to understand the immediate impact of the outbreak for the retail industry.
In the last two weeks, the number of outbreaks of COVID-19 has decreased, as a result of social distancing and self-isolation. “As the number of new coronavirus cases in Australia begins to slow, there is a direct impact on the stabilisation of consumer confidence, albeit still well below levels prior to mid-March,” said Grant Arnott, the Managing Director of Power Retail.
Over the last two weeks since the first Let’s Regrow Town Hall information session, there has been a seismic shift in sentiment towards spending more online. On April 1st, Power Retail reported that 39 percent of online shoppers under the age of 25 were planning to decrease their online spending, with only one-third of the demographic planning to increase their spend.
This week, Power Retail saw a significant shift in this sentiment for under 25s, with 50 percent now planning to spend more online in the coming month.
“The rebound is equally strong in the under 34s category, showing promising signs of online shopper confidence with the recent announcements regarding JobKeeper and other government measures to help offset the COVID-19 impact,” Arnott explained.
The categories which were experiencing an uplift in growth over the past two weeks has changed significantly since the last Town Hall information session. Having ‘dropped off a cliff’ in March, the fashion category is seeing a rebound as more fashion retailers are offering discounts and deals that are appealing to its consumer.
Moreover, as the initial working from home splurge on home office accessories began to dwindle, the next wave since the start of April is focused on fitness and sporting goods.
So, is there a reason for consumers to shop more online? Power Retail found that the fear of catching COVID-19 is one of the driving factors for consumers to turn to online shopping. “We would expect this to be a lasting psychological state of mind even after the global COVID-19 outbreak is contained,” Arnott said.
Furthermore, shoppers are citing boredom and the opportunity to snare bargains from retailers’ desperate to move merchandise’ as critical drivers for spending more online.
Let’s Regrow information session data is based on Power Retail’s weekly research program, which surveys tens of thousands of Australian shoppers and online retailers each year. This is combined with live data extracted from our cutting-edge Retailer Performance Benchmarking Platform, reflecting daily trends across key e-commerce metrics. Power Retail members have unlimited access to the full Power Retail E-Commerce Intelligence Platform that’s driving the Let’s Regrow Town Hall Series – that includes the latest Shopper insights, critical data on Australia’s Top 500 Australian Online Retailers and live Retailer Performance Benchmarks.
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