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Online Shopping Habits of Australians

Understanding the Online Shopping Habits of Australians

Online Shopping Habits of Australians

Although Australian consumers are no strangers to online shopping, they tend to spend less than other marketplace regions. According to a recent survey from ecommerce company, eShopWorld, Australian consumers spend approximately 26% of their discretionary income on online purchases, about five percentage points lower than the global average.

This survey, conducted between August 2 – August 5, 2023 was distributed to online consumers via SurveyMonkey.

Responses were collected from 2,959 individuals living in Australia, as well as the United Kingdom and the United States. eShopWorld, provides a technology platform to brands and retailers that wish to sell online into global markets. 

Here is some of the valuable information obtained on the Australian consumer and their shopping habits as reported in the survey:

  • On average, Australians cap online spending at $473. This is considerably lower than other regions, compared to a max of $922 in the UK and $798 in the U.S.
  • When they do make online purchases, Australian consumers indicate that they shop on mobile (39%) nearly as frequently as they shop on a desktop (41%).
  • PayPal is preferred to a credit card when making an expensive purchase online.
  • Like most online shoppers, Australian consumers rely heavily on digital tools to aid their decision process.

Showcasing is also popular among Australian consumers. Almost half of Australian consumers visit a brand’s (or competitor’s) website before making a purchase in store. By showcasing they are able to quickly find products details and prices among different channels to make a final purchase. Sellers should optimise their presence by omni channeling to appear on various platforms. Consumers also rely on customer reviews about the brand or product. This is where social media is a valuable resource. Positive customer reviews are priceless when it comes creating a positive brand image that will help sell your products.

Another curious finding is that TV plays a larger role in Australia than it does globally, with 31% of Australian respondents seeing a commercial about a brand prior to purchasing in store. This is just slightly higher than the 25% global average. The survey shows that price matching does not play as significant a role for Australian consumers.

Australian Consumers and Ecommerce Leaders

Regardless of the channel used to buy items online, Australian respondents price matched at a lower overall rate than their global counterparts. This can, in part, explain why Amazon, which only officially launched in Australia last November, doesn’t have nearly the same influence regionally as other sales channels. At least not yet, with only 24% of Australian respondents having made a purchase there in the last six months.

Meanwhile, eBay, continues to thrive in Australia. According to the eShopWorld survey, sixty-three percent of local respondents made a purchase on the marketplace in the last six months. Understand where your shoppers are to gain leverage against the competition.

Preferred Payment Methods

As an online seller, it is always a good idea to know how your customers like to pay and give them those options. Charge cards account for the majority of cross border sales in Australia, with traditional credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and Amex making up the bulk of transactions. Debit cards and e-wallets take second place with many Australians using eWallets like PayPal as their preferred payment method.

Online retailers may want to consider offering popular real-time bank transfer service in Australia, POLi. In cases where Cash on Delivery is preferred sellers need to weigh the cost and benefits of offering it in the ecommerce market where credit is the most popular payment method.

Online Shopping and Security Concerns

Australian consumers are aware retailers are collecting personal data, yet they seem less bothered by the practice. This is good news for online sellers as they can use the data to stay connected with their customers. The information can also be used to create a profile to use for future and ongoing promotions that are personalised for each customer.

Like most online shoppers, Australians view product discounts and free shipping as the best ways to incentivise data sharing.

Where Do Australian Consumers Buy?

Australian retailers have expressed concerns about the impact that the arrival of global brands such as H&M and Zara are having on their consumer’s desire to purchase. Fortunately for local merchants, Australian consumers do not think the presence of more global retailers will keep them from buying items from local merchants.

Despite their tendency to shop locally, Australia is known for its affinity for cross border trade. Ecommerce leaders, China and USA are key import partners for Australia. China leads with $52 million of Australian imports. Japan and Germany trail right behind.

Adapting to new buyer behaviour does not have to be cumbersome for merchants. As traditional consumer journeys in Australia continue to evolve, it’s important for e-sellers to have the ability to evolve as well. The key is to stay on top of ecommerce trends and customer needs and be strategic about where to invest time and money to make the most out of this specific region’s buying preferences, from product to payment method.

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