Online shopping orders have increased 49% this year

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 14 May 2020

Online shopping order volume has increased 49% according to Rakuten Advertising’s affiliate network year-to-date data.

The company has applied online shopping data drawn from its affiliate network of over 200 Australian retailers to reveal new insights into local online retail trends.

The research tracks the impact that the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent stay at home restrictions have had on the lives of millions of Australians.

Looking at recent months, there has been a 28% month-on-month increase from February to March and a further 29% month-on-month increase from March to April. 

Insights drawn from Rakuten Advertising’s vertical-specific data also highlights exactly where Australians have chosen to spend their online dollars during lockdown.

Despite fears over health being top of many people’s minds, Australians have used time away from colleagues, friends and family to focus on looking and feeling good.

Order volume in the sporting goods category has seen a 600% month-on-month increase from February to March as Australians started isolation measures.

Sales of lingerie and intimates saw a 459% week-on-week increase during the week Australia was placed in lockdown on March 25, and a 38% month-on-month increase from March to April.

March also saw a 60% month-on-month increase in orders in the beauty and personal care category, followed by a further 45% month-on-month increase in orders April.

With more time at home than ever before, Australians have turned their focus to odd jobs, repairs and renovations.

Year-on-year same store data shows home improvement orders increased 76% month-on-month from March to April.

The data also reveals a 51% increase in orders in the consumer electronics category from February to March, and a further 108% increase from March to April.

With the need for companionship greater than ever, Australians’ affection for their four legged friends has also led to a 24% month-on-month increase in orders in the pets category, from February to March.

Recovery can already be seen in apparel and accessories, which, having seen minimal month-on-month growth from February to March, saw a significant recovery in April, with a 40% MoM increase in orders.

Rakuten Advertising continues to see the lowest activity from the travel vertical, which continues to be challenged by closed borders and travel restrictions.

In line with increased content consumption trends observed across media, orders driven by content publishers and subnetworks increased 24% month-on-month from February to March, and a further 53% from March to April.

With purse strings tightened, coupon and voucher sites also saw an increase in order volume of 25% month-on-month from February to March and an additional 55% from March to April, as consumers in Australia searched for deals and discounts.

“This period of instability and uncertainty in the retail sector induced by COVID-19 has not been easy, yet what this data shows is that, through the turbulence, there have been clear and marked gains made by retailers in a position to adapt and capitalise on the new norms imposed on the lives of Australians," Rakuten Advertising senior vice president, APAC Stuart McLennan says.

“As we all look towards the day when the lives of consumers and retailers can begin to return to their pre-coronavirus conditions, the insights gleaned from this period of intense discovery, adaptation and data gathering will provide significant value for smart brands and businesses preparing to re-emerge stronger and better equipped for the future.”

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