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Welcome to the New Normal. Spoiler: It May Not Be What You Expected

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By Published On: April 1, 20210 Comments

If the e-commerce boom was a result of lockdowns and COVID fears, what does that mean for online retailers as we enter post-pandemic normal? Surely, growth is not sustainable.

It was just over a year ago that Australians were pushed online as restrictions were announced. Working from home became the norm. Toilet paper was scarce. And Aussies headed online in droves because they had no choice. 

That there was an e-commerce boom was to be expected given the climate. But the question remained: what would the new normal look like? Surely the unprecedented (shudder) growth was not maintainable. Over the last year, we saw year-on-year growth that was almost laughably extreme. In November 2020, online revenue hit $5.60B. But as Australia re-opened, we’d go back to pre-pandemic levels, right?

The latest research in Power Retail’s Trajectory Report shows us exactly what the new normal looks like. This month, we entered the period where we’re now comparing current data with the start of the pandemic period in Australia. And the good news for retailers is that we are still seeing revenue growth, even when compared to the start of COVID-times. For March, we’re on track for $3.43B in e-commerce revenue, which marks 42% growth year-on-year.

Power Retail Switched ON

Source: Power Retail Trajectory Report #16

In fact, even off the back of increased online spend over the last year, 82% of Australian shoppers are still planning to spend the same or more online next month. When we drill down into exactly what is influencing those intending to spend more online, the answers may surprise. The vast majority (57%) are spending more online because of convenience. This is up from 46% in August 2020. COVID-19 as a factor relating to increased online sales has dropped from 47% to just 17% over the same period. We can track in real-time exactly how consumer behaviour is shifting. The pandemic may have pushed people online, but now they’re here to stay because it’s just…more convenient.

2021 is the year of loyalty and retention. Retailers need to work hard to ensure that the customers who discovered them in the last 12 months remain online.

Want to find out more? Power Retail Switched On members receive fortnightly reports drawing from the aggregate, anonymised benchmarking data of over 10 million online sessions per month from a broad cross-section of Australian online retailers, plus fortnightly survey data with a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each survey.

Each edition of Trajectory spans three key areas:

  • Australian e-commerce benchmark trends
  • Australian online shopper insights
  • Talking point – data on a specific industry talking point varying each month

Find out more:

About the Author: Natasha Scholl

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