How do Australian consumers shop online? 

If you’re a retailer, you’ve probably wondered that question about your customers. Especially in Australia’s ravenous appetite for e-commerce, you’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity to grow your business and retain new customers.

Australia Post recently released a 2019 e-commerce industry report Inside Australian Online Shopping and we’re excited to share some findings with our customers as we head to Australia towards the end of July. The report contains several insights on how Australian consumers shop online and we’ve unpacked some of their findings for you. 

Download their report here: 

1. Australian consumers love online sale events 

The five weeks from 11 November to 15 December accounted for almost 15% of all e-commerce transactions. Peak shopping period was Black Friday/Cyber Monday; the biggest online shopping week in Australia’s history. 

australian consumer black friday

Key takeaway: The end of the year is replete with opportunities to sell to new customers and engage existing ones. With Australian consumers particularly active during the sales peak season, it’s never too late to start evaluating your marketing campaigns and start brainstorming on creative ways to snag more sales.

Read our guide to get prepared for the e-commerce peak season. 

2. Australian consumers expect faster service and fulfillment 

As we’ve highlighted before, the fulfillment and delivery options you offer customers can play a significant role in attracting more sales. Next day deliveries have grown by 31.7%, while 62% of these deliveries are fashion-related. 

Key takeaway: Consumers expect time and day-specific delivery, along with the flexibility to change delivery options as required. Have you thought about your logistics operations and visibility on your supply chain lately? Maybe now is a good time to start. 

READ MORE: 

Why An Excellent E-Commerce Delivery Strategy Is Mandatory To Optimize Your Checkout

One Ingredient Your Customer Retention Strategy Is Missing: Logistics Transparency

3. Returns matter to Australian consumers while shopping online

In Australia Post’s survey, 29% said it was too much effort to organize a return. Also, 34% indicated it was too expensive to return a product. 

This data highlights the importance of having a clear, accessible, user-friendly returns policy. The biggest deterrent to online shopping is not having access to the fit, feel and quality of a product, and a good returns policy will provide the confidence to buy, try and return (if it doesn’t fit). 

how do australian consumers shop online returns policy

Liked this? Check out why your return policy matters in e-commerce. 

4. Conscious consumerism is a rising trend for Australian consumers.

how do australian consumers shop online conscious consumerism

Consumers in Australia are now more aware of the social and environmental impact of their purchases. For retailers, having a code of ethics that resonate throughout your operations and branding is crucial for retaining customers. 

Here are some findings from Australia Post’s survey: 

  • 60% of consumers would like their eCommerce packaging to be sustainable
  • 49% of online consumers would choose to buy products from businesses that are taking action to reduce their impact on the environment.

Key takeaway: How can retailers adjust to this growing wave of awareness in Australia? Be aware and transparent around decisions made in your supply chain or product origins. Understanding what goes into the manufacturing of your product; from the type of labor used, the conditions your workers live in and where your raw materials are sourced from will assist in communicating transparency over to your customers. 

5. The fashion industry continues to lead the way in online purchases in Australia. 

Fashion continues to lead the way in the number of online purchases. Variety Stores and Marketplaces also continue to attract consumers, providing a one-stop-shop experience for the purchase of a variety of items. Standing out in terms of growth is the Health and Beauty category at almost 30% YOY growth. 

Some interesting stats about the fashion industry in Australia: 

  • Online fashion retail purchases represented 27% of all e-commerce purchases 
  • Half of the buy-now-pay-later purchases are fashion related 
  • The bulk of fashion purchases are made during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.
  • There was significant growth in sales two weeks prior to, and two weeks after these events. 
  • Purchases were strongest during the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

6. Australians consumers are also buying more from China

40% of Australian consumers most recent purchases were from China. More importantly, the United States has declined in market share over the last two years. 

Key takeaway: With cross-border e-commerce growing in popularity, this is a fantastic opportunity for Australian businesses to look beyond their domestic borders and expand overseas. 

Expanding cross-border has its own share of challenges. We’ve prepared a guide to the most common cross-border shipping issues here.

7. More Australian consumers are relying on alternative forms of search like voice and visual search

Almost 1.35 million Australian consumers now have a standalone smart speaker like Alexa or Google Home in their homes. More are also using smartphone assistants like Siri and Google Assistant to search for products without the use of a keyboard. 

Visual search (a process where consumers take and upload pictures of an outfit they like to find similar products available for search), is also growing in popularity. It reduces search time and provides a more personalized customer experience. 

Moreover, Australia Post estimates that 30% of all searches will be completed without a screen by 2020. 

Key takeaway: As Australian consumers shift towards new forms of search like visual and voice while shopping online, retailers need to evaluate how their products are being categorized and tagged. Some initial steps to get started with alternative search optimization methods.

  • For voice search, optimize your products for long-tail natural language search phrases (think how a person would voice out your product name) over isolated keywords commonly used in SEO. 
  • For visual searches, ensure your images are optimized for size and visible on mobile. Ensure that relevant keywords are also included in the image descriptions and alt-text. 

Australian consumers are embracing e-commerce and retailers need to keep pace: 

E-commerce is hot right now and Australia is no exception. While customers continue to shift towards e-commerce, they will expect more from their retailers. Stay competitive by staying in the know of what your customers want from you. Conscious consumerism, faster fulfillment options, and exceptional returns experience are just some of the things Australia Post’s report highlights. 

Our Parcel Perform team will also be at Online Retailer Sydney over the next week! If you’re in town and would like to chat about all things customer experience or understand how to apply these learnings about how Australian consumers shop online to your business, come speak to our team members at Booth G110. We’re looking forward to being back in Sydney! 

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