Shopping behaviour has changed since the onset of the pandemic with almost nine in 10 consumers going hybrid, or omnichannel, and Australia, along with the UK and China, is leading the charge. As a result, marketers need to evolve their campaign planning to effectively engage with consumers, new research from MiQ Australia has found.

Spending is also set to increase with almost half (46%) of people globally looking to increase retail spending compared to 2021. In Australia, one-third (34%) plan to spend more than last year.

The report shows the pandemic has significantly altered the way people shop, with 87% of people globally admitting to now shopping hybrid, embracing a mix of online and bricks-and-mortar retail. Alternate shopping extends to pre-purchase research, the report found, with one in three people almost always comparing and researching products online before buying with the majority using their smartphones for this purpose.

However, most will start their research journey online but make the final purchase in a store, naming “urgency” and the ability to “try before they buy” as the main reasons to head in-store.

While hybrid shopping remains popular, online shopping has significantly increased post-pandemic, with six in 10 people regularly shopping online. In Australia, 44% of people say they now regularly shop online, with the most popular buying categories of essential items, beauty products and personal care, fashion, consumer electronics and entertainment, home improvement and kids and baby products and toys.

Elevating the customer experience is top-of-mind for many brands with major investment set for product development, feature enhancements, and cutting-edge technologies like AR/VR, and virtual shopping guides. NFTs and web3 transactions look set to be commonplace in ecommerce in less than five years.

MiQ CEO for Asia Pacific, Jason Scott said personalised, omnichannel campaigns and planning for a presence in emerging technologies, that stand out from the crowd would be most successful.

“Reaching the right audience across the right platform with the right messaging is the bare minimum that advertisers need to be able to do post-pandemic. Now, brands have to stand out by tailoring campaigns to user preferences,” he said.

“With nearly half the shoppers globally likely to spend more on retail purchases in 2022, compared to last year, it’s more important than ever for marketers to keep pace with the shopping evolution and ensure their campaigns are working effectively across multiple touchpoints.”

According to the report, video advertising is the most memorable and grabs the most audience attention, particularly among millennials and Gen Z, but advertising on online platforms like mobile, desktop and tablet remains popular.