The current e-commerce climate is startling for most retailers to say the least. With general uncertainty about the future, it can be hard to know what's coming. Afterpay, however, is predicting an increase in online purchases as merchant demands enhance.
In the last few weeks, customer behaviour has dramatically changed, as Australians spend time inside and stores close around them. As a result, they are spending more online for essential purchases. But what will this behaviour look like in a month? While it’s almost impossible to understand fully, Afterpay expects sales to increase as Australia continues to live in lockdown.
The Afterpay Insights report suggests that the increase of Food and Grocery and Health and Health Food categories have dramatically increased in popularity, and will continue this way in the next few weeks. Due to the current circumstances, these categories will remain stable throughout the outbreak as million of consumers remain indoors.
In contrast, the Travel and transportation categories have seen a considerate decrease in popularity, which is also set to remain low over the next few weeks. “And in line with the alarm bells ringing in the news, purchases within ’Travel and transportation’ and ’Tickets’ have displayed a significant decrease since the Corona outbreak, and consumers intend to continue consuming even less in these categories in the coming month,” the report said.
To remain a sense of normalcy across the country, millions of consumers are diving into the world of DIY, home improvement and gardening within their homes. As a result, there has been a tremendous increase int he the “Home and Gardening’ categories for online purchases, as well as ‘DIY’ and ‘Home Improvement’, which is set to increase over the next few weeks. “This can be explained by (partial) lock-downs and people spending more time at home during the corona outbreak. But consumers’ future projections of purchases within these categories are pointing towards a decline,” the report explained. Despite this growth, these home and garden categories may experience a decline as Australia moves into the colder months.
For the ‘Health and Cosmetics’ categories, there has also been a significant decline in popularity and sales. Just like the ‘Fashion and Accessories’ categories, which have taken a serious hit throughout the outbreak, these areas of online retail are expected to see a significant decrease. However, Afterpay suggests that this decline isn’t one that will last forever. “But in relation to the other categories, this looks like a temporary decline since consumers intend to increase their purchases in these categories in the month to come,” the report stated.
While there is typically a significant difference in customer behaviour around the world, these changes are reflected similarly from country to country. In general, more consumers say they would choose an online store based on previous experiences, rather than those with a lower price. As such, 25 percent of those who are increasing their online purchases expect ‘fast delivery time, flexible return options, display of in-stock information, reliable delivery and a wide range of products’.
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