More than half of Australian shoppers want to buy locally sourced and produced products, according to new research from one of the country’s leading financial institutions.
The study from the Commonwealth Bank into how the pandemic has reshaped consumer behaviours and intentions reveals that more Australians are choosing to shop locally, want to support local online retailers and manufacturers, and are now inclined to take their business to suburban shopping centres and neighbourhood stores.
This holds true across a variety of categories including recreational goods (59 percent of people questioned), fashion (58 percent), electronics (55 percent), and groceries (53 percent).
Additionally, almost two thirds (61 percent) of consumers are praising local businesses for their adaptability to the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Consumers have seen how businesses are adapting
“It’s great to see consumers supporting local Australian businesses. We’ve seen Aussie businesses adapting to consumers’ changing needs and their customers have noticed,” commented Commonwealth Bank’s Jerry Macey.
“There is goodwill among customers and an overall perception that the retail experience has improved across online, in-store and delivery services. It’s a credit to these businesses that they’ve been able to adapt and thrive during such a challenging period.”
The report shows one in four consumers have increased online purchases, with the biggest change in online shoppers’ activities during the pandemic being an increase in purchases made from Australian online retailers.
According to the research, this trend looks set to continue – with nearly one in two people (49 percent) shopping more with domestic online retailers in 2020, and 52 percent saying they will continue to do so this year.
Aussies who shopped overseas will reduce behaviour
In contrast, consumers who made purchases from online retailers based offshore indicate their number of purchases moving forward will taper or revert to pre-pandemic levels.
Recognising the pandemic’s impact on people’s behaviour, Macey said: “We saw a seismic shift in how people spent their time and this has led them to think about what is most important to them. Consumers adopted a more local focus, and whether that’s on Australian made products, or shopping in their local area, we expect this to remain a priority.”
More evidence of this ‘priority reset’ are the study findings that more than 55 percent of those who spent more time reading and listening to podcasts during and after the pandemic say they will continue to do so.
A total of 56 percent of those who spent more time with their partners or children say they will retain this habit, and 53 percent of those who cooked more at home intend to continue to do so instead of dining out.