Online Sales Remain Strong in Post-Pandemic Landscape

Power Retail By Power Retail | 22 Apr 2021

Retail turnover increased slightly in March, according to the ABS, but in a new report from eStore Logistics, the real driver for the uplift may have been e-commerce. 

State by state, Australians spent more online in March 2021 than they did in the same period the year before. This month is typically quiet for shoppers online, but the reported increases in e-commerce are showing that the online trend is shifting towards being a permanent one.

According to eStore Logistics, shoppers in Victoria made 58 percent more purchases online than they did in March 2020. Moreover, Tassie residents shopped online 43 percent more than the same period in 2020. Others states like Queensland and WA. both reported a 38 percent increase in online orders.

South Australia and NSW recorded 34 percent more online orders in March 2021 than the year prior, and shoppers in NT made 30 -percent more online purchases. The ACT recorded the lowest level of growth, with 20 percent more online purchases recorded in March 2021 compared to the year before.

As every state’s residents continue to expand on their online shopping habits, it shows strong signs of a permanent shift towards adopting online in the long-term, as Leigh Williams, the Founder and Managing Director of eStore Logistics explains. “March is typically one of the quietest months for ecommerce so this growth solidifies the fact that online shopping is a permanent trend and here to stay,” he says.

JobKeeper came to an end in March this year, and many analysts were predicting a dip in consumer confidence as a result, Williams says. Despite this, Roy Morgan reports that consumer confidence remains relatively unchanged, sitting at 114.0, reporting a slight dip of 0.1pts from the week before.

As such, consumer confidence remains ‘well above’ the 2021 weekly average, and a whopping 29.8pts above the same period in 2020. “With JobKeeper ending in March we were anticipating consumer confidence to drop and ecommerce sales to follow as Aussies started to think about their savings,” Leigh Wiliams explains.

“However, we saw quite the opposite. Consumer confidence is higher than it has been in 18 months according to the latest NAB report and eStore data reiterates this. Last year was a very unique year in the ecommerce industry and we’re looking forward to seeing further growth in April and May which will reflect year-long trends following peak lockdown periods.”

With unemployment rates dropping to 5.6 per cent and underemployment now below eight percent, consumer confidence remains strong throughout the country.

“The strong labour market report released last week, with a drop of unemployment rate to 5.6 percent and underemployment below eight percent, didn’t provide the boost to sentiment we might have expected,” says David Plank, the ANZ Head of Australian Economics. “Confidence did, however, remain above its long-run average, and perhaps the good news on employment offset any fallout from the vaccine disappointment. The opening of the trans-Tasman travel bubble this week has also most likely helped maintain a positive sentiment.”

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