PayPal Australia saw its biggest month in the company’s history in April, as more and more Australians turned to online retail during lockdown.
According to the payments provider, customer sign-ups tripled pre-pandemic levels to almost a third of the Australian population, and it saw the highest number of transactions and its largest total value of payments ever processed in April.
The leap in online shopping is likely to accelerate Australia’s shift to become a cashless society by up to 5 years, PayPal said.
“While Gen Z and Gen Y have traditionally driven the growing trend of online shopping, social distancing restrictions have meant many mature Australians have had to start to adapt and start shopping online for the first time,” PayPal senior marketing manager Danielle Grant said.
In fact, the surge in new users included a 65 per cent year-on-year increase in Aussies 50 or older.
“It makes us proud that we’ve been able to help millions of Aussies get their essential items online quickly and safely during COVID-19. Although some may go back to their old shopping habits post-pandemic, an increased use of e-commerce will be the new normal in Australia.”
PayPal’s experience echoes figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that stated online sales grew in April despite the overall decline of retail sales.
Sales in the retail industry fell 17.3 per cent on March’s figures in April to $24.7 billion, and online sales grew to represent 10 per cent of this figure compared to the 7.1 per cent seen in March.
The increased share is unsurprising given how many physical stores were shuttered for the month. And according to industry firm UBS the drive toward online shopping will likely become more important in a post-COVID world.
Online penetration will rise to 17 per cent by FY24, compared to the industry standard of approximately 11 per cent seen today, according to UBS.