“It’s Been a Rollercoaster” – E-Commerce Experiences Downturn in Sales

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By Published On: April 30, 20200 Comments

Every single category of retail has been affected - in the third instalment of the Let's Regrow Town Hall information session, Power Retail dissected the changes and trends throughout online retail as it continues to wreak havoc across the planet. 

Since self-isolation kicked in across Australia more than a month ago, the world feels as if it has been tipped on its head.

Retail has experienced a rollercoaster of events over the past few weeks, with an increase in sales across some categories and significant downturns in others. According to the Power Retail benchmarking data, in the last two weeks, e-commerce sales on the Power Retail index have declined significantly.

“What we saw early on is e-commerce revenue staying really high, even though the visitation wasn’t there. So average purchases were pretty significant,” said Grant Arnott, the Managing Director of Power Retail. “Now we’re starting to see the traffic declines and revenue declines start to match up.”

As a result of this downturn in revenue and traffic, certain categories are showing significant changes in behaviour, sales and average cart value.

“The reason why shoppers are reducing their spending is that they’re only buying essential items, which is a reflection of the needs-based surge we saw in late March and early April,” Arnott explained.

In the past week, consumers have slowed down their intentions to purchase discretionary items such as fashion and electronics. Overall, there has been a downturn in the intention to spend across all retail categories, but the most significant drop was with fashion. “We’re starting to see a decline overall,” Arnott explained. “But precipitous in the fashion category and electronics categories. They have seen significant downward trends in the last week in terms of people’s intent to buy online.”

This is a result of the slow down of mass panic buying across Australia. This, combined with stricter financial plans from consumers, are some of the catalysts for this result.

Despite this drop in intent to purchase online and the decline in sales across the online retail category, the rate of online spending in Australia is still more than 50 percent above on a YoY comparison.

“Thos in the only-online game are certainly going to benefit from that,” Arnott said. “It is sustaining quote well against last year’s figures, but those figures won’t stay growing as fast as they have been for long.”

The data and insights which form the basis for Power Retail’s Let’s Regrow Town Hall series are exclusively available to Power Retail Members. Sign-up today for a two-week free trial by clicking here.

Power Retail is dedicated to providing critical and live e-commerce retailer benchmarking data and shopper insights for the online retail industry. Click here to find out more about Power Retail E-Commerce Intelligence or here to sign-up for the free weekly Pulse Newsletter for more essential online retail content.

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