A post-pandemic uptick in Australian e-commerce is here to stay, according to a new study conducted by order and delivery management software company ShipStation.
The business surveyed 2000 global consumers to compile the data, releasing the report to highlight retailer opportunities that continue to arise in the sector.
Country manager for the company’s Australia/New Zealand territory David Boyer said that the changing habits towards increased consumer e-commerce spending – which developed over the course of the pandemic – have remained relatively undisturbed in 2021. As shown in the study, Australian consumers have consistently reported lower spending hesitancy on e-commerce platforms since 2020 as a result of Covid-19.
“In Australia, more than half of consumers now say that they prefer to shop online instead of in stores since the pandemic,” says Boyer. “So we’re now seeing a majority of people that would prefer to purchase their goods online.”
The report, commissioned by ShipStation at the end of April this year, is the company’s third annual survey of consumers that seeks to measure the impact of Covid-19 on e-commerce as well as buyers’ changing expectations of shopping, shipping and delivery services. ShipStation has now issued a guide utilising data from all three research studies to provide a more comprehensive view of how the pandemic has and will continue to affect consumers and retailers around the world.
“We feel that this report is novel and fit for this post-pandemic world, and that retailers who choose to leverage these data points and insights are going to be better equipped to navigate what we think is the new normal in shopping behaviour,” said Boyer.
The ShipStation report reveals that 45 per cent of Australian consumers claim to have spent more in 2020 than they did in 2019, while 85 per cent anticipated spending more in 2021 than they did last year. Around 79 per cent of respondents said that they had consciously chosen to purchase from local or independent brands to support the local economy during the pandemic. Another finding showed that 54 per cent of the people surveyed had discovered a new small-scale retailer via social media during the pandemic period.
“We’re seeing a boom,” says Boyer. “I think it’s a realisation of the strength of e-commerce, which means that having to sort out an online-first strategy is the right business decision for most small to medium businesses. We see established companies following that kind of strategy, and we’re also seeing a huge influx of new business, from entrepreneurs to small operators that are jumping into e-commerce for the first time. These businesses are really excited about the new frontier. We’re seeing growth everywhere, which is great.”
A key takeaway from the survey is that consumers today are expecting a variety of options when it comes to delivery, meaning that retailers will need shipping partners and solutions to help them meet and exceed those expectations.
“Our proposition to the market for merchants everywhere is that ShipStation helps those businesses optimise their shipping workflows to make delivery a competitive advantage and not just a checkbox,” says Boyer. “So by leveraging the information in this report, retailers can take more control of their e-commerce operations and automate a lot of those shipping challenges.”
ShipStation’s SaaS offering works to automate the critical components of e-commerce delivery, taking orders from wherever merchants sell online and connecting them to the various delivery providers available to carry goods, maximising efficiency in getting orders from stores and warehouses to consumers. Considered industry leaders globally, the company enjoys international experience in shipping and fulfilment, taking a consulting role with retailer partners in providing optimal solutions for their shipping challenges.
Retailers seeking to streamline their delivery efforts are invited to sign up for a free no-obligation 30-day trial, supported by an account manager whose job is to optimise ShipStation’s system to their specific business needs. The report itself is also available for download free of charge.
“I think the insights derived from this report can help equip any business with the right kind of strategies to meet those insights into what consumer behaviour is today after the pandemic, and will likely be for the next couple of years,” says Boyer. “Because what we’re seeing is that whatever happened during the lockdowns, those consumer behaviours aren’t shifting back.
“That’s the new normal. Using the data from these reports, businesses can sculpt out their online strategy, optimise their front of house, and then also find the right solution for the back of house to sort out the logistics component, and that’s where we fit in.”