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Is online growth still possible in a post-covid landscape?

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By Published On: December 1, 20220 Comments

The pandemic accelerated the shift online, but have we peaked? The latest consumer data looks at whether there is still room for growth.

We know the pandemic pushed shoppers online, but are they here to stay? And more importantly, is there still room for growth? Each fortnight, Power Retail surveys over 1,000 online shoppers to find out exactly how consumer behaviour is changing. In Trajectory Report 58, we asked shoppers whether their level of spend online has increased or decreased, whether shoppers are generally more comfortable online now, and which factors prevent them from adding to cart.

HAS SPEND INCREASED?

The majority of respondents (76%) said that this time last year (November 2021), they frequently shopped online. This means we’re coming from a relatively high benchmark when looking at how behaviour has changed in the last year.

In this context, that more Australians have increased their level of shopping (37%) than decreased (22%) in the last six months alone speaks to the strength of online. That the vast majority (78%) say they shop the same or more online compared to just six months ago shows there is still growth left in a post-lockdown / ‘new normal’ landscape.

The majority (51%) of those who said they increased their level of online shopping, said the increase is by a ‘moderate’ amount. A similar percentage said they have increased by ‘a little’ (22%) or ‘a lot’ (26%).

So, are shoppers more comfortable online now? The short answer is, yes. Forty-one percent say they are somewhat or much more comfortable online now compared to last year. This is much higher than the 8% who say they are somewhat or much less comfortable online now.

Source: Power Retail Switched On Trajectory Report #58

IN-STORE v ONLINE

When it comes to shopping in-store or online, the majority of shoppers (57%) actually have a preference to purchase online and have the item delivered. A similar percentage prefer in store (23%) to those that would prefer Click & Collect (20%). This does show that while delivery timeframes, pricing and other factors influence how shoppers purchase, Australians are more inclined to purchase online as their starting point.

Given this, what is preventing shoppers purchasing online and hampering growth? In number one spot (and probably no surprise to retailers) is delivery charges, chosen by 65% of respondents. Timing is also an issue, with 51% saying they need an item immediately and therefore don’t purchase online. Delivery delays are also a reason that shoppers are put off purchasing online (45%). While we’ve come a long way with UX, product descriptions and imagery, 39% say they prefer to see / touch a product in store before purchasing. Other elements like security concerns or frustrations with websites are less likely to be an issue for shoppers.

What would prompt shoppers to increase their online shopping? Again, it’s no surprise that Free Shipping is in top spot at 87%. This even comes ahead of Discounts (at a close 84%). Loyalty offers are in third place, though at a lower 60% with Faster or More Reliable Shopping at 53% in fourth place. Less popular? Personalisation (9%), gift-wrapping (9%) and VR try-on (14%). Essentially, we know how vital free shipping is when it comes to shopping online and retailers should make this a central focus.

The latest consumer data shows we haven’t peaked, and that while growth may be slowing after the pandemic boom, the opportunity for online retailers is still enormous.

Want to find out more? Download Trajectory #58, filled with actionable insights for retailers and brands, and FREE for Power Retail Switched On Members.

PLUS join our fortnightly Market Update, in which we present findings from the most recently published Trajectory Reports. FREE to join (for both Switched On members and non-members), and just 15 minutes! Our final Market Update for the year will take place on Wednesday 14 December at 1 pm, and we’ll be taking a deep dive into The Shift Online. Register here.

The e-commerce landscape is changing. With a Power Retail Switched On membership, you get access to current e-commerce revenue and forecasting, traffic levels, average conversion rate, payment preferences and more

About the Author: Natasha Scholl

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