eBay shares its perspective on what COVID-19 means for the future of retail

In terms of share of online purchases, Variety Stores were the clear winners in 2020 capturing 33% of the eCommerce market.

At a time of uncertainty, Australians were relying on online marketplaces like eBay to get what they needed. Tim MacKinnon, Managing Director eBay Australia and New Zealand, shares eBay's insights into the changing needs of the nation through the goods they were purchasing.

With 40,000 Australian businesses using eBay to sell everything from appliances and fashion to toys and homewares, we were able to monitor the changing needs of the nation through the goods they were purchasing.

Nobody knew how consumers would respond when we first entered this crisis, however eBay Australia saw an extra million monthly visitors during 2020, bringing the total average to 12 million.

These spikes in visitor levels are normally reserved for the weeks leading up to Christmas, but the busiest day of 2020 occurred in April. eBay saw another signifcant rise in visitors during July when Melbourne went into its second lockdown. Smaller increases were also seen as a result of snap
lockdowns in various states.

58% of people felt safer shopping online than in-store, and the increase in online shopping was largely driven by people having more time to browse (75%) and being at home to collect deliveries (75%). Australians also noted the financial benefits to online shopping, with 80% saying they can find better deals and save money.

Shopping behaviour reflects how Australians were feeling through the different phases of the pandemic. eBay saw a significant rise in sales of puzzles and video games, and shoppers bought four times as much running, yoga and training equipment than they had the previous year. Bike accessories more than doubled mid-year before spiking again in November.

Face mask sales were up more than 700,000% in March (not a typo), spiking again in July when Melbourne went back into lockdown.

Consumer expectations are on the rise and we will see more people launching online businesses. Much of what we’re seeing today is just the very beginning of the next reinvention of retail, and we expect to see elevated
eCommerce levels for the foreseeable future.

Explore eBay’s insights and what these mean for the future of eCommerce in its report, Lockdown: One Year On.

This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for your business needs.