While pandemic-related closures and social distancing restrictions have had a devastating impact on shopping centres and street shops, new research suggests the eCommerce sector will remain strong. Two-thirds (65 per cent) of Aussies say they will shop more online than in-store in the next 12 months.
The findings come from an independent, nationally representative panel of 1010 Australian shoppers commissioned by parcel pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) network Hubbed (hubbed.com).
The results reveal that, in the next 12 months, 34 per cent of Aussies would shop more online (than in-store) than they did during their State shutdown. A further 31 per cent would shop more online than they did before their State shutdown.
The younger the shopper, the more likely they will make the shift from shopping in-store: 45 per cent of 18-50-year-olds would shop more online than in-store now than during the shutdowns, compared with just 19 per cent of over-50s. Similarly, 61 per cent of 18-50s would shop online more in the next year than before the shutdowns, compared with 32 per cent of over-50s.
Across the States, Hubbed found that a higher proportion of Victorians (41 per cent) – who are currently in a strict lockdown – would spend more online in the next year than during the shutdowns. This compares with an equal 33 per cent of NSW and SA residents, 31 per cent of Queenslanders, and just a quarter (25 per cent) of West Australians. However, more ACT residents (47 per cent) would shop more online than before the shutdowns, followed by an equal 36 per cent of SA and WA residents, 31 per cent of NSW residents, 30 per cent of Tasmanian and just 27 per cent of Victorian residents.
While the online shopping surge, sparked by the pandemic, is good news for online retailers, it is not without its challenges. Online retailers have been required to adjust to the significant increase in online deliveries, while navigating consumer delivery expectations, at a time when State Government’s COVID Safe restrictions have impacted speed and ability to deliver. Shopping cart abandonment is another major challenge. In March 2020 alone, 88 per cent of online shopping orders were abandoned at check-out – primarily because of inflexible delivery options or costs.
CEO and Founder of Hubbed David McLean says: “From our survey results, it is clear that the growth in online shopping, which has been exacerbated by COVID-19, is here to stay. The constraints that have been placed on online retailers have highlighted the need for them to be more proactive and agile in streamlining the consumer’s online shopping experience via technology and alternative delivery options. It is also evident that customers want more delivery choices, which will, in turn, support the growth in eCommerce. Retailers should seriously consider their customer delivery choices, such as supporting the use of Click & Collect.
“As a collection network, Hubbed enables retailers to keep up with online demand by enabling them to offer consumers flexible, alternative delivery options. For example, customer parcels can be dropped off to a centralised local retail outlet, such as a BP service station or 7-Eleven store, which allows for secure parking, after-hours access and no queues. It is this level of convenience that enhances not only the consumer’s online shopping experience but also their purchasing experience with a specific retailer, which, in turn, helps motivate them to continue purchasing online.”
He adds: “Ultimately, offering alternative delivery options could be the game-changer to better supporting online demand for the foreseeable future.”
 Survey respondents were required to make at least three or more online purchases in the last three months.
 Statistica, ‘Online shopping cart abandonment rate in selected industries in March 2020’: https://www.statista.com/statistics/457078/category-cart-abandonment-rate-worldwide/#:~:text=Shopping%20cart%20abandonment%20rate%20worldwide%202020%2C%20by%20industry&text=In%20March%202020%2C%2088.05%20percent,not%20converted%20into%20a%20purchase.