The covid-19 pandemic has changed the way millions of people do their shopping and how they consume products. Lockdowns and border closures have forced people to rethink the way they consume products.

According to research conducted by PayPal Australia, 15 percent of Australian adults started shopping regularly online for the first time during 2020. This upward trend in online shopping will likely continue as 2-in 5 Australians 38 percent said they’ll continue a higher level of online shopping.

Here are some of the major consumer trends that are set to rise in a post covid world.

Buy Now Pay Later

Over the past few decades, and now more than ever, Australians have wanted more choice and flexibility with online shopping, which has seen the rise of a number of buy now, pay later (BNPL) platforms.

Currently 45 percent of Aussie online shoppers have now used BNPL, with that figure rising to 65 percent for Millennial online shoppers according to the PayPal 2021 eCommerce Trends research report. The same report illustrated that 1-in-7 Aussie online shoppers making a BNPL purchase at least weekly.

In July 2021, PayPal launched PayPal Pay in 4 in Australia. PayPal Pay in 4 has no late fees and is interest free for consumers and there are no additional costs for businesses.

By using BNPL, customers can purchase what they want, when they need it and pay it off in easy instalments – but unless you’re using a ‘no late fee’ option like PayPal, make sure you don’t overcommit to avoid being stung if you miss a repayment.

The Increase of Influencer and Social Media Marketing

As consumer continue to spend more time on their devices, businesses both large and small are turning to social media marketing to sell their products.

Australians spending money through social media increased significantly from $5 per month in 2019 to $25 per month in 2020., As expected, younger people are more likely to purchase through social media and more than a third of both Gen Z and Millennials shop on social channels. Younger consumers also spend more on social.

On average, Aussie Gen Zs spent $51 a month and Millennials spent $36 a month via social in 2020 making social a marketing channel that can’t be ignored.

From influencer marketing to interactive Instagram profiles, consumers can purchase something they love with the tap of a screen.

Furthermore, now that the majority of the population knows how to use a QR code, these are also becoming commonplace in advertising around the country.

While trends are constantly changing, the rise of social media, in particular, is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

New Purchasing Trends

As a consequence of the covid-19 pandemic consumers have had to rethink the way they spend their money and for those who still had income or weren’t tightening the purse strings, turning to new products related to health and beauty, computers and electronics plus home and garden.

Customers have become accustomed to buying more essentials online, including groceries, household and cleaning supplies, frozen food, pet care and alcoholic beverages.

There’s also been a rise in the use of online and app-based fitness, health, diet and mindfulness classes and programs.

While the challenges of the pandemic are not to be overlooked, covid-19 has created opportunities for businesses from a broader range of goods and service categories to sell online. Consumers are now, out of necessity, much more comfortable with eCommerce and digital experiences beyond the standard online retail purchases creating new opportunities for businesses.

Have An Environmentally Friendly Green Strategy and Embrace Ethical Sourcing

The recent survey from PayPal Australia found that 1-in-10 Australian consumers had boycotted a brand for environmental or other ethical reasons. These figures increase to 1-in-5 for Australians under the age of 24. More than half of Australian consumers 55 percent had made a green or ethically-based purchasing decision within the last 12 months and 1-in-7 have purchased products specifically because they were environmentally friendly.

For 10 percent of Aussie consumers, the environment is even more important than their own wallet, as this cohort will buy environmentally-sustainable products wherever possible, regardless of price.

Consumers are clearly moving away from an easy fix of plastic and chemicals, and are now looking to “go green” to achieve a sustainable future.