A quarter of Aussies shopped online at least 10 times between March and December last year, revealed the report, with a cheeky afternoon purchase growing in popularity as people worked from home.
Fashion was the second biggest category for shoppers, after purchases from variety stores.
There was a 57 per cent increase in online shopping in 2020 compared to the previous year, said Australia Post’s acting CEO Rodney Boys.
“As social distancing, border closures and lockdowns became commonplace, Australians turned online for the things they needed. And they did so in record numbers with over four in five Australian households – almost 9 million – making an online purchase at some point during the year,” he said.
“Included in that number was more than 1.3 million households that purchased in 2020 that did not buy online in 2019.”
These new shoppers were from two distinct groups, the report found.
“The first are young and midlife families, who are on-trend and tech-savvy yet also conscious and pragmatic about what they buy and where their money goes,” it explained. “The second are older households, likely retired and often living more rurally.”
Home and garden items or purchases from variety stores were most popular among half of Australia’s new online shoppers.
Nationwide, 7.6 million households are considered regular online shoppers. Generally, they are considered professionals, who are live in metropolitan areas, and are focused on family and careers, but also don’t mind splurging on discretionary items.
The top postcodes for regular online shoppers include Narre Warren North in Victoria, Secret Harbour in WA, Eatons Hill in QLD, Frenchs Forest in NSW and Wakerly in QLD.
Homewares and appliances were popular buys among this group, as well as searching online marketplaces and discount stores.
Last year, it took Aussies just over eight months to exceed what they spent in 2019 online shopping.
“The events of 2020 gave rise to a sudden and permanent shift in buyer behaviour,” added Ben Franzi, Australia Post’s general manager.
“Shoppers’ habits have changed and while they are more engaged than ever, they are also more comfortable buying from a broader cross-section of retailers and categories.”
Research conducted by Deloitte Access Economics found those retailers that were invested in e-commerce were significantly buffered from the impacts of Covid-19, limiting overall revenue losses to 7 per cent between March and August 2020.
Through the early months of 2021 Australia Post has continued to see around 5 million households shopping online each month, the report added.
A third of Aussies indicated they prefer to shop online now more than they did before the pandemic, a recent survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found.