COVID-19 has changed Australia’s shopping behaviour for good and many plan to persist with the new habits they’ve embraced, according to new research released by Wunderman Thompson Commerce.
The Future Shopper 2021 Report examined the current and future shopping habits of 28,000 consumers across 17 countries. More than 2,000 Australian consumers, who shop online at least once a month, participated in the study by Censuswide between March 26th and April 14, 2021.
The majority of Australians (72 per cent) said the pandemic had changed their purchase behaviour and they would retain some or all of them for good, while 60 per cent said they believe online shopping will be even more important in 2021.
The report shows challenges and opportunities for businesses with consumers crying out for faster delivery. One-in-two shoppers saying they wished more brands and retailers offered ‘next day’ delivery like Amazon Prime does in other regions.
The power of personalisation for companies of all sizes to build relationships and create better experiences is also highlighted with the majority of shoppers (72.5 per cent) saying they are happy to receive samples from online retailers to try based on their purchase history and preferences with them.
And as a nation, we’re also becoming more morally conscious with 60 per cent of shoppers saying a company’s ethics and morals play an important part in their purchasing decision. With Amazon directly under the microscope with over half of Australians (55 per cent) supportive of Amazon having to pay more taxes.
The report also shows:
- 50 per cent of Australians are more comfortable using digital technology than before the COVID outbreak. And 51 per cent would like brands to be more innovative in using technology to improve the online experience.
- For inspiration on what to buy, Australians are most likely to turn to search engines (43 per cent), followed by social media (36 per cent), marketplaces (25 per cent), retailer sites (23 per cent), brand sites (22 per cent) and in store (21 per cent).
- Almost half of Australians 45 per cent said they intend to shop more through social media platforms in the future. Australian women are significantly more likely to draw inspiration for their purchases from social media than men (43 per cent versus 18 per cent).
- In contrast, Australian men are significantly more likely to draw inspiration from Amazon than women (23 per cent versus 13.5 per cent). There are concerns however about the retail giant, with 1-in-2 Australians are worried about the likes of Amazon dominating the industry
- Over two thirds (64 per cent) of shoppers say they wish retailers and brands offered better environmental practices (e.g. less packaging, reduced carbon footprint and eco-delivery vehicles).
- A significantly lower number of Australians (22 per cent) who said they were frightened about shopping in-store in the wake of COVID-19, compared to participants from other countries (41 per cent)
Geoff Smeaton, chief commerce officer at Wunderman Thompson Australia, said: “The Future Shopper 2021 report provides businesses fantastic data and insights on the key strategies to embrace, and the opportunities presented by the current shift in consumer behaviour.”
“Whilst it was all about online during the height of COVID – with 72 per cent of shoppers flocking to online and the expected continued growth with 60 per cent of shoppers being more comfortable with technology – coming out the other side, we see that 64 per cent of Australians prefer shopping with brands that have both physical and digital offerings.”
“So being able to help brands win and grow through their omni-channel strategy to meet customer expectations is a key area of focus through 2021 and 2022.”
Lee Leggett, CEO of Wunderman Thompson Australia concluded: “Our Future Shopper 2021 delves deeper into Australian’s shopping behaviour than ever before, with 28,000 participants across 17 countries – including 2000 people in Australia alone.”
“And we hope that armed with these insights and intelligence work, Australian brands will be able to create effective ecommerce strategies to grow.”
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