One million more households in Australia are shopping online compared to 2019.
That significant jump in consumer behaviour has been noted by Australia Post in the release of its 2023 Inside Australian Online Shopping Report.
The report provides what the parcel carrier calls exclusive insight into the behavioural trends of consumers over the past 12 months.
According to the data, 9.4 million Australian households shopped online in 2022, spending $63.8 billion on online goods.
Online shopping now makes up over 18 per cent of all retail sales.
This year, Aussies spent the most on home and garden ($18.7 billion), a category which traditionally has more expensive items like furniture and electronic goods. However, the overall growth was driven by increased spend on food and liquor stores ($13.1 billion with YoY growth of 11.4 per cent growth), as well as variety stores ($11.6 billion with YoY growth of 8.6 per cent).
Queensland saw the strongest YoY growth in number of online purchases than any other state (11.1 per cent), followed closely by West Australia (11.0 per cent YoY growth).
Meanwhile, consumers in remote and regional Australia continued to embrace the online shopping trend, while, unsurprisingly, New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT came out of lockdown ready to spend big in store.
Australia Post Executive General Manager Parcel, Post and eCommerce services Gary Starr said that while eCommerce had moderated with the opening of stores, the shift in the way we work, live and shop is here to stay.
“Aussies’ love affair with online shopping has not waned, even with restrictions removed. One million more households are now shopping online compared to 2019, and 5.6 million households made an online purchase every month during the past year,” he said.
“Australians are shopping online more often, with 37 per cent shopping fortnightly compared to 20 per cent pre-COVID. The growth trend in online was steady prior to COVID-19 but spiked during restrictions, now it’s showing a return to normal trend growth. By 2033, we expect around one in three dollars will be spent online.”
It’s clear, however, that cost-of-living pressures continue to take effect and overall consumers are more cautious in their spending, creating short-term headwinds for retailers in 2023.
MST Marquee Lead Analyst, Craig Woolford said the online environment makes it easy to cross shop and compare to find the best price which can reduce customer loyalty.
“What good online retailers are doing is trying to entice their customers to stay with their platform. That could be via a subscription or other forms of rewards and points to create loyalty, consistency and in return repeat purchases,” said Woolford.
Australia Post said its focus on reimagining Post Offices will soon see some act as hubs for local communities, with features such as parcel lockers and a dedicated retail space for local businesses to showcase their products.