With Australia in recession for the first time in nearly 30 years, Australians are more conscious of how they spend their money and what they receive in return. The changing expectations of Australian consumers and the key shopping behaviours that emerged throughout the pandemic have been revealed in new independent research conducted by Opinium Research and commissioned by Adyen.
The Adyen Agility Report details the findings of a survey of more than 25,000 respondents, including 2000 Australian adults, and provides a guide to help retail and hospitality businesses secure customer loyalty in an ever-changing market.
Australians still love shopping in-store
While COVID-19 has been a huge catalyst for change, it’s also solidified our preference for certain activities, including shopping in-store. Of all consumers surveyed, Australians have the strongest desire to shop in-store (72 per cent) compared to 62 per cent of Americans and 50 per cent of Brits. Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of Australians are also looking forward to shopping in-store for pleasure again, well ahead of the global average of 55 per cent.
Adyen country manager Australia and New Zealand Michel van Aalten said: “The businesses that consistently performed the best throughout the coronavirus pandemic were those that combined their physical and digital worlds to create a fluid, channel-agnostic experience which prioritised the customer. Australian consumers are more conscious of how they spend their hard earned money and expect good service in return. While we’ll continue to enjoy shopping in-person, online is on the rise, across all age groups. If retailers want to capitalise on this newly converted audience, they need to focus on being agile and delivering seamless and secure experiences across all channels.”
But the shift online is real and here to stay
The pandemic caused a mass migration to online channels, particularly as lockdowns swept across the country, and Adyen’s research suggests that consumers have been won over by the channel’s convenience. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of Australians said they shopped more online during the pandemic than they did previously – although less than our global counterparts in the USA (36 per cent) and UK (33 per cent). A third (33 per cent) of Australians will also shop online more often now than before. This skews by age, with 46 per cent of 18-34 year olds planning to embrace this habit, compared to 38 per cent of 35-54 year olds, and 17 per cent of those aged 55 and older. The appeal of online shopping is far-reaching, with 28 per cent of those who prefer to shop in-store acknowledging they will also shop online more.
Experience is everything
A key finding from the research is that Australians don’t tolerate bad experiences – 72 per cent won’t return to a retailer if they’ve had a bad experience, either in-store or online. But they do also reward those who help them out, particularly when times are tough. The vast majority (78 per cent) say they will continue to support the retailers they relied on during the pandemic. And given the love for physical stores, it’s also significant that most prefer to shop with retailers located nearby because they want them to stay open (67 per cent).
Positive online shopping experiences are also growing. A quarter of Aussie consumers are now less likely to shop in-store because of their positive online experience during the pandemic. This is stronger among female respondents (28 per cent) compared to males (22 per cent) and among younger shoppers aged 18-34 (41 per cent), compared to 35-54 year olds (29 per cent) or those aged 55+ (10 per cent).
“Unified commerce continues to grow as customers demand more flexibility and multi-channel experiences. And this growth is likely to remain – 70 per cent of Australians said they’d like retailers to remain online, even as stores continue to reopen,”said van Aalten.