More than four in five Australian households shopped online during 2021, spending $62.3 billion1 on physical goods, driving the online share of total retail to 19.3 per cent2.
Australia Post Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Paul Graham, said the pandemic brought about a fundamental shift in the way Australians live, work and shop, and that online shopping is now a mainstay for Australian families when purchasing everything from clothing to day-to-day household items.
“Right across the 2021 calendar year Australians turned to online shopping like never before, and with fluctuating restrictions and 15 million people in lockdown at one stage, eCommerce was a lifeline for people and businesses alike.
“Even as restrictions eased, Australia’s love of online shopping has not faltered, evidenced by the 5.4 million households we saw buying online each month last year, representing a 39 per cent increase from 2019,” said Mr Graham.
Increased confidence and comfort with buying online saw shoppers increase their willingness to shop around, sharing their dollars across a broader cross-section of retailers and expanding their online purchases into new categories.
In 2019, the average shopper bought from nine individual retailers; in 2021 that figure increased to 15, while the number of categories increased from six to eight over the same time period. Interestingly, the time of day people choose to shop has also shifted, with more purchases made between 2pm and 5pm, and fewer between 7pm and 10pm3.
“Today’s online shoppers are looking for choice and convenience, reliability in supply and delivery, and with 75 per cent4 thinking about sustainability when they shop online, it’s having an enormous impact on which brands they choose to buy from and where they spend their money,” said Mr Graham.
“While we expect the growth we’ve seen over the last two years to moderate, shoppers’ eagerness to buy online will continue to increase, and Australia Post is ready and committed to supporting our customers as we move into this next phase of retail in Australia,” Mr Graham concluded.
To stay ahead of future growth, in October 2021 Australia Post announced an additional $400 million by mid this year in new facilities, fleet and technology and is improving the customer experience with new solutions including 2-hour ETA notifications which are being progressively rolled out.
Across the country in 2021, metro areas saw growth of 12.9 per cent year-on-year, while regional locations saw growth of 10.6 per cent. Among the top online buys across the year were Athleisure, Baby Products, Footwear and Pet Products.
Point Cook in Melbourne’s west was the top online shopping location nationally for the seventh year running, followed by Liverpool in New South Wales, and Hoppers Crossing in Victoria.
Source: Australia Post