Major shift in shopping behaviour, research reveals

Local, ethical and sustainable brands are the biggest winners in the year ahead, according to the IAB Australia and Pureprofile Australian Ecommerce Report 2021.

The research shows that 54 per cent of direct brand shoppers prefer to buy from brands they know are sustainable, compared to 38 per cent of non-direct brand shoppers.

Convenience is also a big driver for online shoppers, with 76 per cent saying it was worth paying a premium for. Eighty-four per cent of those who increased online shopping during Covid have sustained this increase or purchased even more frequently so far in 2021. In June this year, 76 per cent of online shoppers indicated they were buying online at least once a month.

“It is no surprise that the pandemic has changed retail habits and sped up the adoption of ecommerce for brands and consumers, but we felt it was important to not only provide the market with industry data on shopping habits and future intentions but to explore drivers for brand selection, sources for inspiration and discovery,” says Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia.

“For a nation that has been in lockdown for most of the last 12 months, it seems like many of us have made comfortable additions to our wardrobe with clothing being the number one shopping category with 72 per cent of online shoppers making a clothing purchase online over the last year.”

Online search was identified as the most popular source by consumers for inspiration and discovering brands when buying something online, while at least half of millennials say social media is now an important part of how they find products to buy.

Shopper rewards programs are popular with online shoppers, but trust and increased transparency are needed. Nine in 10 online shoppers signed up to at least one shopper rewards program and amongst these 45 per cent are signed up to four or more cards.

Fifty-four per cent of online shoppers have at least some concerns regarding how retailers use the data about them provided via the loyalty program or reward card, but concerns are reduced when consumers have a high level of trust with an individual retailer.

Consumers also prefer to shop local as 46 per cent of online shoppers are now buying more things online from local retailers, presenting a clear opportunity for brands to develop a sense of community and connection.

“The great migration to online retail has accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic and this research suggests an evolution in how consumers are finding and connecting with brands,” Martin Filz, CEO of Pureprofile says.

“In an increasingly saturated online retail marketplace, consumers are seeking recommendations through search and social, looking for easily contactable customer service, and placing a premium on fast local delivery. To thrive in this new environment, marketers must adapt and upgrade the buyer journey to reflect these new shopper expectations and behaviours.”