eBay has released a new report, Lockdown: One Year On, which reveals that an additional one million Australians now shop with the site each month as a result of the pandemic, bringing the unique monthly visitor numbers to 12 million.

The report found that Generation Z – those aged 18 to 24 years – did more than half (57%) of their shopping online, although Baby Boomers – those aged 60 and over – posted the biggest increase (69%) on pre-pandemic figures.

eBay Australia managing director, Tim MacKinnon said the platform has witnessed the rapid acceleration of e-commerce firsthand.

“Not having to physically go into stores and getting the best value were identified as some of the main benefits to shopping online during the pandemic with more than half (58%)saying they feel safer and four in five (81%)finding better deals online compared to in-store,” he said.

“We’ve also seen huge support for homegrown businesses. Searches on eBay for ‘Australian Made’ items rose by more than 430% in July. With 40,000 Australian businesses on site, it’s easy for shoppers to support local, while enjoying the convenience of being able to find everything in the one place.”

eBay’s Lockdown: One Year On report found that the rise of agile working also played a key role in the uptick of online shopping with three-quarters (75%) of those working flexibly admitting they had more time to browse online while working from home (WFH).

Men were more likely than women (56% versus 44%) to be shopping online while WFH as they no longer had the embarrassment of hiding deliveries from their colleagues.

“With the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine, 83% of people say they plan to continue shopping online as much as they are now, indicating there has been a permanent shift in the way the nation shops following the pandemic,” MacKinnon said.

Over the next five years alone we will experience more innovation than we’ve seen in the last 50 years, according to futurist, Chris Riddell.

“Much of what we are seeing today is just the tip of the iceberg for the new normal where online platforms, like marketplaces, integrate themselves into this new world of intelligent experiences, where data will be utilised to make sure the experiences are personalised at every single moment, from computers as CEOs to digital storefronts and virtual e-commerce dating assistants.”