Drilling down into shopping trends and buyer preferences

This post drills down a little bit further to look at the details of what shopping trends and buyer preferences are in Australia. In the last blog post we looked at some of the overarching things retailers should think about if they wanted to survive the rise of online shopping.

Once upon a time – actually more like only 5-10 years ago – people were scared of doing business over the internet. Not so much anymore.

As at the end of the 2016, Aussies had spent more than $21Billion (yes, with a B) on both physical goods and digital services during the year. That would mean that most of the shopping trends were focused on a lot of pairs of shorts, tops, shoes, take away dinners, apps, dog collars, prams, Xero memberships. And of that $21B, more than 80% (nearly $18B) was spent on physical goods. It’s pretty obvious, as a nation, we like to shop!

What you might be surprised at is that only 21% of all purchases came from overseas. Yep, 80% was domestic spend. That doesn’t mean that all the product was sourced from Australia, merely that the e-tailer called Australia home. And let’s face it, the more we buy here, the better for the economy, the country, providing jobs, etc.

So let’s look at how can you take best advantage of that?

Where are the shoppers from?

As with all things it’s about your customer. And it’s no great surprise that the majority of online shoppers came from the Eastern seaboard – NSW, Victoria and Queensland with the major cities punching above their weight.

However, what you might find surprising is the growth of online shopping in very remote WA and NT regions, which almost doubled year on year (albeit from a low base).

Something else surprising? Based on Australia post deliveries, the top five online purchasing suburbs are Point Cook (Vic), Toowoomba (QLD), Liverpool (NSW) – dubbed Australia’s fashion capital, Gosford (NSW) and Cranbourne (Vic) – where it’s more about greater choice (than what might be offered locally), value for money, affordable housing, growing future infrastructure and young families. Now these are just the highest delivered to postcodes.

But those same demographics also live in other key growth pockets like Schofields, The Ponds, Rouse Hill, Edmondson Park and Camden (all in NSW), Wollert, Doreen, South Morang, Clyde North and Officer (all in Vic) and others just like them.

Have a look on a map and look at what sales are coming from those areas. Think about how you might be better able to tap into those growth markets.

Also consider whether or not your mailing or fulfilment house has the capacity to ship your products all across the country and what happens if a customer needs to return something.

What are the online shopping trends?

Well, when it comes to shopping trends, let’s say, everything really. The most obvious thing though is fashion – which accounts for around 22%, homewares and appliances at almost 15% and health/beauty at nearly % (but growing above the national average). And media, which Aussies have been buying forever from Amazon and the like, accounting for 13% of all purchases.

What might surprise you though (but not if you’re an etailer that carries chairs, sofas, prams, outdoor furniture, paint, etc) is that department and variety stores accounted for more than 30% of all online purchases (and interestingly driven by those living in the A.C.T who were buying well more than their counterparts in other states).

What makes shoppers buy?

In a nutshell, shopping events integrated into your online promotional calendar. Think domestic shopping events like Vogue and GQ’s online shopping nights, Mayhem, ClickFrenzy (most of which run in May) and the US-inspired online events Black Friday and Cyber Monday (November). Oh, and of course, Christmas. And given it’s January, you’ve got a good head start to begin thinking about how you might best utilise those events this year for your business.

If you’re ready to embrace ecommerce in a more meaningful way, we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can always give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney)+61 3 9240 300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below. Alternatively, you can find a full list of available services here.

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