Inaugural Klarna Shopping Pulse reveals Australian shoppers expect digital transformation to continue with clear continued role for physical stores.

An international survey has revealed that Australian shoppers expect to shop online even more in the future, however, there remains a clear role for physical stores, with 54% of Australian respondents still preferring to shop in a physical store – the second highest proportion of any international market. Klarna, the shopping and payments provider that serves over 90 million shoppers and 200 000 merchants globally, has released its Shopping Pulse: a new study that reveals shoppers’ current shopping habits and their expectations for the future. The study includes research* conducted across three continents, surveying more than 9000 consumers. The study also combines research with data analysis from Klarna’s own shopping services that process over 2 million daily purchases across the globe. The markets included in the study are Australia, the US, the UK, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

 

Key highlights from the report:

  • Significantly more Australian women prefer online shopping than men (48% vs. 43%), which is different from northern European markets.
  • 91% of Australians have shopped online in the past year, however it is clearly the market that has been least affected by the pandemic and ongoing lockdowns, as:
    • This is the lowest proportion of online shopping for all markets surveyed.
    • However, 24% of Australians say they shop online on a weekly basis – a higher proportion than in every other market except the UK and US.
    • Australia has the highest proportion of shoppers who shop weekly instore of any international market (63%).
    • 26-35 years old Australians are the age group that are doing most purchasing online.
  • Australians use their mobile phones for shopping more than any other international market other than the US (38% preference) – and this is being particularly driven by Aussie millennials (26-35).
  • 46% of Australians believe they will make the majority of their purchases online
    in a years time, the same proportion that would choose online shopping already
    today if they had to choose between online and physical stores
  • Clothing and shoes is the most popular product category for Aussies online.
    • 50% of shoppers bought clothing online during the last month, compared to 46% in physical stores
    • Based on the experience in other markets, we expect beauty, pharmaceuticals and accessories to be the next categories to increase their share of online shopping.
  • Currently, Australian shoppers are choosing online shops before physical stores when buying entertainment and erotic material.

 

Fashion shops has moved to the digital high street and others are expected to follow

Klarna’s study shows that half (50%) of Australian shoppers have bought clothing online during the past month, and slightly fewer (46%) have done the same in brick and mortar stores. This means that online shops currently have a higher share of shoppers than they normally would, because if shoppers could choose, Klarna’s study shows that they would spend slightly more on fashion in the physical stores even though the actual preference is fairly balanced between online shops and physical stores.

“In the short term, Australians have already found their balance between online shopping and physical stores when it comes to fashion. At the same time it is evident that new habits have formed and more than half of Australian shoppers believe they will turn online for more of their purchases in a year’s time, and want to increase their share of online shopping purchases for most other product categories”, says Viveka Söderbäck, Klarna’s expert on consumer behaviour.

 

Traditional offline verticals ripe for disruption

Klarna’s study shows that despite the relatively lower recent disruption from the pandemic for Australian shoppers, there is a significantly higher preference for more online shopping in traditional offline verticals such as groceries, pharmaceuticals and home and garden. Consumers currently shop more in physical stores for these categories, but would want to shop online to a much higher extent in the future. In fact, Aussie consumers have indicated their preferences may be changing to prefer to shop online more frequently in 10 out of 12 product categories. Entertainment is the only
product category where they believe their current balance between online shopping and physical stores matches their preference, and clothing and shoes is the only product category that they would want to buy slightly more offline than currently. 25% of Australian shoppers would already make all of their Grocery purchases online if they had to choose between online and physical stores. That’s only behind the UK (34%), on par with the US (25%), and ahead of all other countries in the study.

“The pandemic has turbo boosted the digital transformation, and some traditional offline verticals were simply not ready for that a year ago. Many consumers would previously not consider shopping for groceries online, but since online shopping has become a habit during the past year, they now have new preferences that retailers will need to meet. This is an opportunity for agile retailers to quickly grow their business by meeting emerging demands and win
customers over”, says Viveka Söderbäck.

 

*The markets included in the study are Australia, the US, the UK, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden. The study includes research conducted across three continents, surveying more than 9000 consumers, and combines research with data analysis from Klarna’s own shopping services that process over 2 million daily purchases across the globe.