Staying inside is slowly becoming the 'new normal' for Australians, as millions rely on online shopping to regulate their daily activities and needs. Yellow Online, formerly Yellow Pages, has released a report with the categories that are becoming exceedingly popular amongst Aussie consumers.
In the last two weeks of Australians self-isolating indoors, there has been an average increase of 914 percent in searches for fitness equipment. State by state, these searches are topped by the ACT with a rise of 1,442 percent, 1,084 percent in Victoria and 1,001 percent in NSW.
Moreover, Australians are increasingly becoming interested in DIY and home improvement, with searches for paint and paint equipment increasing by 94 percent. Furthermore, there has been a 46 percent increase for generators, with a 172 percent increase in Tasmania. Unsurprisingly, there’s a 304 percent lift in searches for cleaning products and supplies for the home.
While staying at home improves the chances of flattening the curve for COVID-19 outbreaks, Australians are becoming increasingly frustrated by the self-isolation, mainly due to the low internet speeds. “People at home also seem to be getting frustrated with their internet speeds. For the first time, we have had a 43 percent increase in searches for internet service providers, with a 200 percent increase in the ACT and 100 percent in Tasmania,” said Elise Balsillie, the Chief Revenue Officer of Yellow.
While the slow internet is something that online retailers have little control over, it can significantly influence their perception of online retailers who have already slower loading times. Now more than ever is the time for e-commerce retailers to optimise their sites.
Getting back to basics is an essential trick that retailers must embrace during these times. PayPal’s 2019 mCommerce Index: Trends Report found 39 percent of Australians said ‘search results taking too long to load’ would diminish the value of visual search, while over half said ‘video buffering’ would make shoppable video a disappointing experience.
Here are some basic rules to follow for optimising site speed:
- First, ensure the navigation of your site is simple, and there are not many pop-ups on your page;
- Make sure the checkout is quick – simplify the transaction process to a single page;
- Regularly review your service provider and plan to make sure it can handle high up times during peak sales periods;
- Shop your site yourself – this way, you can see how long it takes to select and purchase from your store and identify areas that may need improvement.
Establishing and securing trust is harder than ever at the moment. Ensuring that your customers understand where your business is situated during a time of crisis with transparency is the first step to keeping the clear lines of communication between retailer and consumer.
Here are a few other ways to establish trust with your online shoppers:
- Educate your customers on good online habits – for example, not saving card information on shared computers and ensuring the ‘lock’ is present in the website URL;
- Clearly explain your security processes on your website;
- Ensure you are compliant with all relevant regulations here and overseas
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