The pandemic has had a long-lasting impact on accelerating the online shopping habits of Australians. Data from eCommerce fulfilment provider, eStore Logistics, shows an 80 per cent growth in online shopping orders in April this year compared to sales in April 2019.
Although COVID-19 restrictions have eased in Australia with the majority of businesses returning to normal operating hours, eCommerce growth continues to accelerate. There has been a 51 per cent growth in online orders in the last 12 months, in comparison to the 12 months prior.
Aussies continue to embrace eCommerce
While the numbers are less than the peak of the April 2020 lockdown period, eCommerce is still proving popular with the majority of Australians. Some sectors have been clear winners in the eCommerce stakes. Fashion sales boomed by 44 per cent in April this year in comparison to last showing that more people are buying clothes online. Home and renovation is also still booming YoY with 20 per cent growth in online orders from this April to last as Aussies continue with renovation projects inspired during lockdown.
With fewer people doing the groceries online, not surprisingly, food and beverage are flattening and dropping from 44% YoY growth earlier in the year to -1% this April. While this was common during the peak of the pandemic, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to want to buy food in-store.
Leigh Williams, Managing Director, eStore Logistics said no one could have anticipated the surge in eCommerce as a result of COVID.
“April last year was a really interesting time in the eCommerce world. We’ve never seen anything like it. It’s hard to imagine now most stores were closed, supermarket shelves were stripped bare in a state of panic buying and businesses were not able to operate without an online presence.
“This has had a profound impact on the industry and we can see that one year down the road. So many people who never shopped online before now can.”
Williams says to accommodate the surge in eCommerce sales fulfilment centres around Australia have had to increase their capacities, including their own.
“eStore Logistics has had to increase its storage and fulfilment by more than 20,000 square metres to accommodate the surge in ecommerce sales.”
Williams says the business plans to bring online at least a further 35,000 square metres before Christmas 2021.
“When looking at YoY data and comparing this April to last it’s hard to get a good picture of how far the industry has come – last April was an insane fluke month. Data from eStore helps us look at the bigger picture and understand just how much the trend has accelerated over the past 12 months.”
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