May 27, 2022

It’s an age-old stereotype about the differences between men and women, but new research has busted the myth.

Aussie men outspent women at the online till at nearly double the rate over the last year according to new data, bursting an age-old stereotype

In a research paper released by broker firm Savvy, men were shown to spend an average of $300 per week on physical goods at virtual marketplaces, a far-cry from the $170 per week spent by women.

The figure was just was one in a series of fascinating insights uncovered about our online shopping habits.

Gen Y led the pack when it came to the biggest weekly spend by age group, averaging $308 per week, while Baby Boomers registered a frugal $54.

The data revealed that despite the pains of the pandemic, retail therapy was on the rise for Aussies, with a whopping $62 billion spent on goods online in 2021.

More than five million households were heading to the e-till each month, a 39 per cent increase since December 2019.

“Australians are more addicted to retail therapy than ever,” a statement from Savvy read.

“Since the pandemic, which saw consumers spending further online to stave off boredom, the growth of online retail has been turbocharged as foot traffic becomes web traffic.”

Top spending suburbs revealed

New South Wales was the biggest spender in the past year, with customers shelling out an average of $257 per week.

The town of Helensburgh on the NSW south coast emerged as the top suburb by household spending, followed by Silverdale and Seaforth.

Point Cook in Victoria’s south west was the top location by purchase volume nationally, followed by Liverpool in NSW.

Surprisingly, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, regional WA and Victoria experienced below-average growth in online consumption.

Put your money where your home is

Homeware and appliances were the most popular items bought online over the past year, collecting 23.8 per cent of the national total.

This was followed by department stores (16.3 per cent) and grocery and liquor outlets (15.3 per cent).

Surprisingly, fashion was well down the list at only 10.9 per cent, showing a move toward the more practical needs of life.

The data also gave insight into what industries had the strongest growth during the 2021 lockdowns.

Variety stores topped the list with a 74.1 per cent surge in online traffic and sales, closely followed by food and liquor (69.5 per cent) and home and garden (61.2 per cent).

Health and beauty (34.1 per cent) and media (30.1 per cent) had the lowest year-over-year increase.

Most surprising of all however, was that takeaway food had the smallest share of the online retail pie, accounting for just 5.9 per cent of expenditure.

Cash has gone the way of the dinosaur 

Perhaps the most striking figure of all was the increasingly stark difference in generational consumer habit.

Gen Z shoppers accounted for 62 per cent of online customers at the 2021 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, while just nine per cent of buyers were Baby Boomers.

The death bells are ringing for physical cash, with only five per cent of buyers still using hard currency for online purchases, a majority instead opting for either PayPal or Amazon Pay.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s all reckless card tapping from young shoppers, with 59 per cent of consumers using discounts or codes directly from retailers.

A massive 80 per cent of shoppers also said sustainability was a key factor when it came to online retail, reflecting a 71 per cent increase in sustainable product searches globally.

Grocery and fashion outlets had the highest amounts of sustainable transactions, while 60 per cent of shoppers indicated they would be willing to fork out more for ethically sourced products.

Australian retail is still a small fish in a much bigger pond

Despite growing by 12.3 per cent in the past year, online retail in Australia is still just the tip of the consumer iceberg.

One example highlighted in the research was South Korea, where 53 per cent of online shoppers were checking out at least once a week, more than double Australia’s figure of 25.3 per cent.

Despite the lagging numbers, experts have tipped the online retail industry to continue to boom down under in the coming years.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, some of the biggest drivers of online shopping were retail restrictions and fear of catching Covid-19,” a statement from Savvy read.

“Now, these primary reasons have sharply declined and been replaced by convenience, greater access to products and value for money.”

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