Leading up to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales, almost double the amount of Australian shoppers plan to shop online in some capacity (90%) when compared to those planning on shopping in-store in some capacity (54%), according to a new survey from global ecommerce platform, Shopify.

Increased online shopping is the main way that Covid-19 will impact BFCM purchases (mentioned by 60% of BFCM shoppers), the new survey shows.

Australian shoppers plan to spend on average $769 (down from $908 in 2020) over the BFCM long weekend.

Macro disruptions to the retail industry, resulting in supply chain disruptions and shipping delays, have also contributed to Australian shoppers’ habits this year. Click and collect was reported as more popular among younger and middle-aged online BFCM shoppers, with 50% of 18-34 and 31% of 35-54 online BFCM shoppers planning to use curbside pickup during BFCM, compared to just 17% of those aged 55 and over.

Despite burdens on delivery services, Australian shoppers maintain high expectations of shipping, with a clear majority (69%) of online BFCM shoppers expecting their purchases will be shipped for free. 72% expect the retailer to cover the cost of shipping of any return items.

Shopify managing director of Asia Pacific, Shaun Broughton said, “Consumers are prepared to make adjustments in how they shop to accommodate Covid-19, but will not make concessions in certain areas, such as shipping or delivery options. The agility of the Australian shopper has been tested, and they expect rewards for their propensity to adapt.

“As merchants have evolved and reimaged retail in creative new ways throughout the challenges posed by 2021, shoppers too have adjusted their habits, preferences, and expectations in tandem. Shopping online will continue to be the dominant way for bargain-hunters to nab a deal this Black Friday long weekend.

“Whether it’s varied shipping options, better product discoverability, or the ability to buy directly from social media, merchants need to reinforce their technology and operations to avoid losing out in this highly competitive time of year.”

Local shopping was a big winner when it came to where BFCM shoppers plan on spending. Six in 10 (60%) of shoppers plan on purchasing BFCM items from locally-owned stores, followed by department stores (53%) and big box retail locations (40%).