Cranbourne leads for online shopping

Cranbourne residents spent up online during the pandemic. Picture: JOSH PARRIS, PUBLIC DOMAIN

By Danielle Kutchel

Many of us spent lockdown with our noses glued to the door, waiting for the parcel delivery van to pull into the driveway.

Covid-19 fuelled an eCommerce boom with growth of more than 57 per cent on the previous year – years of growth in a compressed 12-month period, according to Australia Post.

Australia Post’s 2021 Inside Australian Online Shopping report, released at the end of March, provides a detailed look at the key insights and trends that emerged during 2020.

Thanks to lockdown restrictions that saw bricks-and-mortar stores closed, eCommerce underwent an extreme change.

Australia Post general manager parcel and express services, Ben Franzi, said in 2020 online became an essential shopping channel.

“Australians spent an incredible $50.5 billion online last year, and eCommerce accounted for 16.3 per cent of total retail spend,” he said.

“Almost nine million households across the country bought something online as people shopped for the things they needed, avoiding large shopping centres and other busy retail settings.

“More than 1.3 million of these households were first-time shoppers with 93 per cent of their initial purchases made between March and December,” Mr Franzi continued.

Cranbourne came in at number two on the list of the top ten locations for online shopping by volume, just behind Point Cook.

The top five locations were all in Victoria.

Rounding out the top ten, in order, were Hoppers Crossing at third, followed by Craigieburn, Doreen, Toowoomba in Queensland, Liverpool and Rouse Hill in New South Wales, Ballarat and finally, Gosford in New South Wales.

According to the report, residents in each of the top five locations shopped more than twice as much as they did in 2019, with at least 90 per cent of households having shopped online.

For the top four locations, online shopping participation increased by five percentage points or more in 2020.

Cranbourne experienced 114.6 percent year-on-year (YOY) growth in eCommerce in 2020.

Increased comfort and confidence buying online meant buying habits shifted significantly as the year progressed. New online shoppers became regular shoppers by year’s end, while the more seasoned online shoppers ramped up the frequency of purchases.

“We found that of the 240,000 households who made an online purchase for the first time in April, half were regular shoppers by the end of the year after shopping online in at least three of the months between May and December,” said Mr Franzi.

“When it comes to seasoned shoppers, the average household increased its online shopping frequency by at least 10 purchases over the year and the range of categories and retailers they purchased from also expanded significantly.

“Shoppers are more engaged and comfortable buying online than ever before and this trend has continued into 2021. We’re seeing around five million households continue to buy on a monthly basis which is 1.1 million more than the average in 2019,” Mr Franzi concluded.

Across the country in 2020, every State and Territory recorded double digit growth.

Victoria, which spent more time in lockdown than the rest of the country, led the way with year-on-year (YOY) purchase growth of 82 per cent, followed by New South Wales with 50.5 per cent.

Leading categories were food and liquor and home and garden products, each up 77 per cent and 70 per cent YOY respectively, as people spent more days at home and invested their time on domestic projects.

Cranbourne was no stranger to this trend, coming in second behind Point Cook for spending on home and garden products.

Residents also bought up big on health and beauty, and hobbies and recreational goods.