Shift in online consumer expectations. Image – Canva
  • A new report confirmed the increase of online shopping
  • The research indicates a shift in consumer expectations and preferences
  • Great value is placed on customer service and ease of purchase and delivery

The recent gain in popularity of online shopping has come with an unpredicted spike in consumer expectations, according to a recent report by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia and Pureprofile.

Based on the 1000 person survey, local, ethical and sustainable brands are earmarked to be big winners in the coming year.

With increased expectations, consumers now place high regard on contactable customer service, ease and speed of delivery. Convenience is the biggest driver for consumers to shop online.

Martin Filz, CEO of Pureprofile commented that the “great migration” to online shopping accelerated during the pandemic. He said that research revealed an evolution in how consumers find and connect with brands.

While the majority of consumers discover brands via online search, millennial shoppers cite social media as important for finding products to buy.

“In an increasingly saturated online retail marketplace, consumers are seeking recommendations through search and social, looking for easily contactable customer service, and placing a premium on fast local delivery.”

Martin Filz, CEO of Pureprofile

“To thrive in this new environment, marketers must adapt and upgrade the buyer journey to reflect these new shopper expectations and behaviours,” said Mr Filz.

Image – Canva

The research showed that most virtual shoppers during Covid in 2020 were not new to the online shopping experience. However, 84% of those who increased their online shopping last year have maintained a higher level of online shopping.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia noted that consumers are becoming more comfortable with purchasing online with clothing being the top online shopping category.

“It is no surprise that the pandemic has changed retail habits and sped up the adoption of eCommerce for brands and consumers,” said Mr Le Roy.

The shift in consumer preferences

Online shoppers’ shift in expectations is accompanied by changing preferences.

46% of online shoppers have increased their preference for local retailers.

Among those who purchase directly from brands, 54% value sustainable and ethical brands; 38% of those who do not purchase directly from brands also prefer sustainability.

Preferences for innovation, social responsibility and hygiene factors have also surfaced in the report.

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