Wednesday, June 19, 2024

E-commerce buyer behaviour changing in Australia as cost pressures grow

Global e-commerce and marketplace accelerator Pattern has announced new research showing changes in online buyer behaviour over the last financial year.

In welcome news for the local retail sector, consumers spent on average $2.90 more in each online transaction for an average order value of $138, peaking at $149 in June 2022. However, while the average online order value increased, it did so at a rate lower than inflation and the actual size of shopping carts declined, with units per order shrinking by 13%, according to the research.

“Over the past twelve months, a record number of Australians made a purchase online, spending $62.3 billion. Representing 19.3% of retail spend in the country, this share of wallet is significant and will continue to grow as consumers become accustomed to the convenience, simplicity and speed of e-commerce. However, with inflation and cost-of-living pressures increasing, buyers are also being more discerning and investing in those key items they seek. This trend is likely to continue over the next year, where the majority of brand turnover growth is likely to come from price increases rather than sales volume growth,” says Pattern Australia General Manager Merline McGregor.

The research shows that local brands improved their sales conversion rates by 11% over the past year due to renewed investment in digital activity, for an average conversion rate of 2.49%.

“E-commerce revenue growth for brands in Australia averaged 22% over the last year. However, much of this revenue growth was down to online conversions being high during 2021 lockdowns, while in July 2022 the conversion rate declined in line with a drop in the number of transactions to 1.92%.

“Social media as an online selling channel continues to evolve with a 9% increase in both local shopper traffic and conversion. Although, new privacy policies that allow users to opt out of tracking did impact on revenue growth in this channel which experienced a 16% decrease in revenue.”

“Social media sales activity is growing, but also becoming more difficult due to new privacy measures coming into place. There has also been a notable increase in commercial content within social media feeds and with this we’ve seen a decline in engagement across the industry. Going forward brands should add more authentic content to their feeds to cut through the noise and build brand integrity during heavily promotional periods. A great way to do this is through user-generated content which is more likely to drive brand loyalty as you’re engaging with your own customers,” Ms McGregor said.

In the past year, 60% of e-commerce shopper traffic was driven by search engines, representing a 28% year-on-year growth.

“To maximise purchase opportunities from Search Engines, brands should create targeted landing pages for product categories to help your site rank for more specific terms and increase your ability to grow traffic. They should also consider investing in a content strategy that helps answer popular user queries and tackles user concerns to improve rankings,” Ms McGregor said.

In July 2022 there was a significant increase in people searching for specific brands and locations compared to the previous month. This shows that consumers are researching online to find the product they are after before they head to a retail store to buy it. This in part, contributed to a decrease in search revenue of 35% compared with the same time in 2021, when consumers were largely in lockdown and had to purchase online.

While desktop and tablet e-commerce sales activity decreased over the last financial year, mobile sessions increased by 11%, bringing its total share of traffic to 70%. In July 2022, this further increased to its highest level in 18 months – 73% – reflecting the growing number of people travelling and commuting to work.

“With mobile devices dominating the consideration and purchasing phases of the online buyer journey today, brands need to tailor their marketing and online stores to accommodate for these devices. Ensuring that your products are easily discoverable and with seamless purchasing options through mobile devices will only become more important in the future,” Ms McGregor said.

For more information about the Australian Ecommerce Benchmarks available through the ‘FY22 Ecommerce Acceleration Report’, download the full report here or visit pattern.com/au.

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