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Percentage of Aussie Online Shoppers Buying from Amazon Up More than 50% in a Year—Driven by Lockdown

Australia – September 10, 2020

Global ecommerce and marketplace specialist Pattern has polled Australian shoppers for the second time to assess their attitudes to Amazon Australia and understand how lockdown has changed their shopping behaviour.

The percentage of online shoppers who report they have shopped on has grown by more than 50% between our 2019 and 2020 surveys from 30% to 47%. 30% of those who have bought from Amazon Australia in the past 12 months cited lockdown as a reason why they had purchased from the marketplace.

The findings support web traffic data from SimilarWeb, which shows monthly visits to have risen by 49.5% between February and July this year. Pattern’s Amazon Australia Report 2020 highlights consumer attitudes to the marketplace as well as predicts future online shopping behaviour.

Findings include:

Shoppers flocking online is not temporary - 31% of shoppers surveyed said they’d spent less on shopping as a result of COVID-19. This reduction in spend has been focused offline; only 7% said they had spent less online as a result of COVID-19, while 53% said they have bought more online as a result. Overall, 65% said they have bought more online in 2020, showing that online sales would have grown this year even without lockdown; although it has accelerated an existing trend.

A third of shoppers predict that they would spend less on shopping for the rest of the year due to COVID-19, but only 11% said they would spend less online. Meanwhile, 46% expect to buy more online than previously, and 45% expect to visit stores less, for the rest of 2020.

Online retailers are acquiring new customers - Only 6% said they are buying from different physical stores to normal because of the pandemic, but 27% said it had changed the online retailers they have bought from. For the rest of 2020, 8% expect to buy from different physical stores than previously and 22% from different online stores. As described below, Amazon AU has been a significant beneficiary of this change in shopping habits.

Lockdown has been a catalyst for Amazon’s customer acquisition - 83% of the shoppers surveyed had visited in the past year, up from 80% in our 2019 survey. However, the percentage buying grew by more than 50% in that period; up from 30% in 2019 to 47% in 2020. 10% of all shoppers said they had made purchases from Amazon as a direct result of lockdown, and 11% expected to buy even more from Amazon than they have previously for the rest of 2020.

In 2019, more Australians were still buying from than the localised Australian version of the site. This has now flipped, with just 13% reporting they’d bought from the US .com site last year, down from 35% in 2019.

Shoppers have positive sentiment towards Amazon - 27% agreed that Amazon has helped shoppers during lockdown. 64% agreed it provides a wide variety of products.

Prime membership - Prime is supporting the growth in Amazon AU’s sales. A total of 19% of online shoppers have access to their own or someone else’s Prime subscription. 18% of Amazon AU shoppers cited Prime as a reason they decided to make a purchase from the site (up from 11% in 2019). A further 14% of online shoppers said they were likely to sign up to Prime in the next year.

Pattern’s General Manager for Australia Merline McGregor said of the report findings: “We were already aware that lockdown had driven shoppers online, but these findings show that this change is not temporary. Online retailers and brands need to ensure their customer acquisition strategies are up to scratch to capture customers who will be buying more online, and from different retailers, than normal for the rest of 2020 and beyond.In particular, Amazon AU has benefited from the closure of physical stores, and has impressed consumers with its growing product selection, availability and delivery capability through lockdown. Australian retailers who may not have considered it a strong competitor in the past need to look again, and brands who want to grow their online sales channels should consider whether it can deliver incremental sales.”

1,003 consumers were polled online in Australia by Stable Research in July and August 2020. Participation was restricted to those who had shopped online at some point in the previous 12 months.