Lockdown - One Year On

March 18, 2021

As the COVID 19 pandemic forced Australians to stay at home, online retail filled the gap to ensure people could continue to access the goods and services they needed. eBay Australia’s Lockdown - One Year On report examines some of the key changes we’ve seen as COVID impacted the way we live, shop and sell online.

Over the last year, an additional 1 million active shoppers have been shopping on eBay every month. That means 12 million Australians are coming to eBay each month to look for items they need and want.

eBay saw growth across a range of different categories as the year progressed. Demand for facemasks increased exponentially with sales increasing 713,477 per cent year on year. Hand sanitiser sales also grew substantially at 4,000 per cent year on year. Some less expected trends saw Australians buying more recreational items with card games (7,699 per cent) and fishing gear (1,588 per cent) seeing some of the largest growth. We also saw changes on who was shopping online. While Gen Z shoppers (18 to 24 years of age) were the biggest online shoppers, baby boomers reported (+ 69 per cent) the largest increase in online shopping frequency on pre-pandemic levels.

‘‘When you see an acceleration in a trend like this, it’s a permanent shift,’’ said Country Manager and VP of eBay Australia Tim MacKinnon ‘‘We won’t see the same level of sales as we saw during lockdown...but they won’t all snap back to where they were. Putting it very basically, if someone was buying 10 items online before and they’re now buying 14 or 15, they’re not going to go back to 10.”