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Australians to spend $4.8 Billion online amid economic caution, says new report

As the festive season approaches, Australians are set to spend an eye-watering $4.8 billion on online marketplaces, according to new research by eCommerce delivery leader ShipStation and retail consultancy Retail Economics. The report, which surveyed eight markets, including Australia, the UK, and the US, reveals a cautious economic backdrop affecting consumer spending habits this peak season.

David Boyer, VP, Head of ANZ at Auctane, ShipStation’s operating brand, commented, "As we approach this year's Black Friday and Christmas season, Australian consumers are gearing up to spend an impressive $4.8 billion on online marketplaces. In the face of economic caution marked by high interest rates and cost of living pressures, it's encouraging to see the majority of Australians planning to do their shopping online."

The research highlights that 78% of Australian consumers plan to cut back on non-food spending related to Black Friday and Christmas, a significant increase of 24% compared to last year. Inflation and a lack of savings were cited as the biggest concerns by 38% and 20% of consumers, respectively.

Despite the cautious consumer backdrop, retailers are optimistic. Nearly two-thirds of online retailers surveyed expect sales volumes to align with last year, and 24% even anticipate a rise. Boyer added, "It’s promising to see retailers are optimistic about peak season demand. As we navigate through these shifting consumer trends, it's clear that the ecommerce landscape is evolving."

The trend of early shopping is also on the rise in Australia. The report shows that 35% of consumers plan to start their online holiday shopping before October. This is particularly pronounced among younger shoppers, with 44% of digital natives planning to shop during promotional periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Online marketplaces are becoming increasingly popular, with 80% of Australian consumers surveyed expecting to shop on these platforms. Boyer noted, "These changing dynamics are driven by a digitally-savvy demographic under 45, who prioritise speed and convenience in their online shopping experience."

Cost remains a significant factor for Australian consumers, with 78% highlighting the cost of delivery as the most important factor when making an online purchase. However, 57% are willing to pay $6-7 for same-day delivery, indicating a balance between cost and convenience.

Boyer concluded, "While cost remains the king of considerations for Australian consumers, it's interesting to note that they are willing to pay a bit more for quicker delivery. These changing dynamics are driven by a digitally-savvy demographic under 45, who prioritise speed and convenience in their online shopping experience."

As Australia gears up for the peak shopping season, both consumers and retailers are navigating a landscape of economic caution and evolving digital trends. With $4.8 billion set to be spent online, it's clear that the ecommerce sector is more vital than ever.