The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced Australia’s government to enforce lockdown restrictions, which negatively impacted business and consumer confidence and supply chains. While the grocery sector and e-commerce experienced rapid increased in demand for products as panic buying escalated across the country, others have suffered a sharp decline. As the pandemic continues to unfold, retailers need to be prepared for long-lasting changes in consumer behaviour and shopping habits.
Retail is a cut-throat industry and especially during and after this pandemic, retailers must constantly redevelop and reinvent their brand, e-commerce and in-store strategies if they are to have any chance of competing in a dynamic and hypercompetitive retail environment.
Uncertainty dampens both business and consumer confidence. This lowering of confidence can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, with Australians and business deferring spending and investment.
Environmental concerns have taken a temporary backseat as health and hygiene are the main concerns during the pandemic. However, this does not mean an end to sustainability and there is likely to be a stronger and renewed interest among Australians in protecting the environment by shopping in a more sustainable manner.
The COVID-19 pandemic will bring about lasting changes in consumer attitudes and behaviour. Australians that previously preferred to pay in cash and reluctant to engage in e-commerce are increasingly likely to embrace these new payment trends.
E-commerce is flourishing in Australia but there are still questions to be answered and hurdles to be overcome if consumers will alter their shopping habits in the longer term.
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