A new study has found online sales of sporting goods (up 600 per cent) and lingerie (up 459 per cent) soared as Australians went into lockdown from February to March.
The research was conducted by Rakuten Advertising who applied online shopping data drawn from its affiliate network of over 200 Australian retailers to reveal new insights into local online retail trends. The research tracked the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent stay at home restrictions have had on the lives of millions of Australians.
Despite fears over health being top of many people’s minds, Australians have used time away from colleagues, friends and family to focus on looking and feeling good. Order volume in the sporting goods category has seen a massive 600 per cent MoM increase from February to March as Australians started isolation measures, while sales of lingerie and intimates saw a huge 459 per cent WoW increase during the week Australia was placed in lockdown on March 25th, and a 38 per cent MoM increase from March to April.
March also saw a 60 per cent MoM increase in orders in the beauty and personal care category, followed by a further 45 per cent MoM increase in orders April.
With more time at home than ever before, Australians have turned their focus to odd jobs, repairs and renovations. Year-on-Year same store data shows home improvement orders increased 76 per cent MoM from March to April.
And whether it was setting up the home office or looking for at-home entertainment, Rakuten Advertising data reveals a a 51 per cent increase in orders in the consumer electronics category from February to March, and a further 108 per cent increase from March to April.
With the need for companionship greater than ever, Australians’ affection for their four- legged friends has also led to a 24 per cent increase MoM increase in orders in the pets category, from February to March.
While it’s not been a picture of growth across all retailer verticals, the shoots of recovery can already be seen in apparel and accessories, which, having seen minimal MoM growth from February to March, saw a significant recovery in April, with an increase of 40 per cent MoM increase in orders.
Rakuten Advertising continues to see the lowest activity from the travel vertical, which continues to be challenged by closed borders and travel restrictions.
In line with increased content consumption trends observed across media, orders driven by content publishers and subnetworks increased 24 per cent MoM from February to March, and a further 53 per cent from March to April.
With purse strings tightened, coupon and voucher sites also saw an increase in order volume of 25 per cent MoM from February to March and an additional of 55 per cent from March to April, as consumers in Australia searched for deals and discounts.
Stuart McLennan, Senior Vice President, APAC, at Rakuten Advertising commented: “This period of instability and uncertainty in the retail sector induced by COVID-19 has not been easy, yet what this data shows is that, through the turbulence, there have been clear and marked gains made by retailers in a position to adapt and capitalise on the new norms imposed on the lives of Australians.
“As we all look towards the day when the lives of consumers and retailers can begin to return to their pre-Coronavirus conditions, the insights gleaned from this period of intense discovery, adaptation and data gathering will provide significant value for smart brands and businesses preparing to re-emerge stronger and better equipped for the future.”