Around one third (33 percent) of Australians intend to shop more online than they had before the Covid-19 pandemic, while half (49 percent) reported they would use online Telehealth services in the future, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
ABS Head of Household Surveys, David Zago, said the latest Household Impacts of Covid-19 Survey conducted from 13–23 November, showed the pandemic was helping Australians become more comfortable with online alternatives to services.
“Women (42 percent) were more likely than men (25 percent) to report a preference to shop more online since the start of Covid-19 pandemic – as were people in Victoria (43 percent) and New South Wales (35 percent), compared with the rest of Australia (26 percent).
Around half are likely to use Telehealth
The November survey also followed up on the use of Telehealth services for medical appointments.
“Almost one in six Australians (18 percent) used a Telehealth service in November. Women (23 percent) were more likely than men (12 percent) to have used Telehealth services, as were people with a disability (30 percent) and people with a long-term health condition (27 percent),” Zago stated.
Around half of Australians (49 percent) reported they were likely to use Telehealth services in the future. The most frequently cited reasons were convenience (78 percent), saving time (52 percent) and not needing to travel (50 percent).
ABS findings echo global e-commerce trends
The ABS findings on the increasing use of online shopping tie in with global research. A recent study by Salesforce, an international customer relationship management (CRM) company, predicted that for the 2020 holiday season e-commerce will grow 30% year-over-year. By comparison, in 2019 the growth figure was a relatively modest 8 percent.
Total digital sales are expected to reach a new record high of US$940-billion globally. The surge will likely result in online shopping accounting for 18 percent of all retail sales worldwide during this holiday shopping season.
“Digital commerce won’t fully compensate for the projected brick-and-mortar slowdown [in sales], but it will be critical to help retailers close the gap this holiday season,” said Rob Garf, a senior executive at Salesforce.