New e-commerce research finds fashion shopping has increased since 2021, while noting that convenience and value for money will be key for retailers to weather an impending economic downturn.
According to Australian E-Commerce Report 2022 published by IAB Australia and Pureprofile, clothing, footwear and fashion was the most popular online purchase over the past year at 74%, up slightly from 72% in 2021.
The report, which aggregated the attitudes and behaviors of 1,000 Australian online shoppers, also found online shopping has increased since 2021, with 83% of shoppers buying monthly. This is despite the growth of foot traffic through brick and mortar.
Additionally, convenience was cited as an important factor for online shopping by 77% of respondents, with value for money identified as a compelling feature for e-commerce (84%).
Fast shipping has declined as a driver of purchases.
IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy said that since March 2020 consumer habits when it comes to online shopping have changed.
“Retailers have invested in digital transformation, which has led to huge growth in e-commerce spending,” Le Roy said.
“This growth has continued into 2022, but with the expectation of a future economic downturn, retailers will need to serve customers who have embraced the convenience of home delivery as well as click and collect.”
It also means focusing on value for money, as the rising cost of living continues to strangle household budgets.
While there is an opportunity for brands to create seamless omnichannel shopping experiences with value at the forefront, the report also issued a warning. Retail marketers are urged to assess their marketing strategies more regularly through 2023 to ensure they can adjust their businesses to respond to economic changes. This includes navigating the ongoing impact of covid.
The biggest area of growth in online shopping has been shopping for groceries, growing from 54% in 2021 to 64% in 2022.
Martin Filz, CEO of Pureprofile, added:
“After a difficult period where retailers were forced to turn to the web and many thrived, these retailers now find themselves at an interesting time: they must maintain growth while being mindful of the economic environment.
“Throughout this year, it will be especially important for retailers to stay close to their consumers and quickly examine shifts in sentiment.”
When it comes to specific age groups and their purchases, 30-39 year olds were identified as more likely than any other age group to buy a range of different products online, while 18-29 year olds were the most likely to buy jewelry, handbags, and accessories online. People between the ages of 40 and 49 were interested in online shopping for electronics, technology and mobile phones.
Two-thirds of online shoppers said cost-of-living pressures mean they don’t have to spend as much on less essential retail purchases this year, while 65% said the potential for further rises lower interest rates mean they are more careful about spending, especially young families.
Those who are currently experiencing cost of living pressures are more drawn to shopping online to compare prices and to find specific products. They are more likely to seek value in programs such as store loyalty cards.
Other search results include:
- 47% of online shoppers purchased from a direct (to-consumer) brand, while 31% purchased multiple direct brands.
- 48% of online shoppers are aware of buyable advertising, with 21% of 18-29 year olds and 25% of 30-39 year olds having made an online purchase this way.
- Nine in ten shoppers have signed up for at least one shopper rewards program – 40% of those who signed up for the rewards program have four or more cards (up from 45% in 2021).
- Almost half of online shoppers say it’s important to buy from an ethical brand.
- 29% of shoppers said that if they trusted a brand, they would buy without looking at the price.
- 59% of 18-29 year olds use social media for product inspiration, while 30-39 year olds rely more on friends and family or shopping events and the over 50s are most heavily influenced by online research and retailer emails.