August 27, 2021

NAB Consumer Insight Report – Online Virtual vs. In store In Person

Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation & consumer preferences. The lines between physical and digital are dissolving.

The pandemic has redefined which categories of goods and services businesses and consumers feel comfortable selling, purchasing and experiencing online. Many industries pivoted toward e-technologies and virtual appointments to keep their businesses going. Lockdowns and social distancing forced Australians to do more online – from everyday shopping, virtual fitness and cooking classes to telehealth appointments. With the number of COVID cases remaining low in many parts of the country, a growing number of consumers have returned to more in person or in store experiences. But what do Australians really prefer? In this report we ask consumers how they would like to interact across a wide range of activities including banking, healthcare, higher education, retail, dining and entertainment.

While many of us still favour face-to-face and in-store, online and virtual interactions have grown and deepened. In some areas, such as banking, the preference shift towards virtual is well established, with 1 in 2 Australians now strongly preferring to do their banking online. Other areas where online or virtual are in stronger demand include booking holidays, watching movies, further education, buying books and viewing a sporting event. Human beings are essentially social creatures. Consumers will always need to touch products and the sensory stimulation of visiting a store or physical business cannot be fully replicated online. But, the lines between physical and digital are dissolving. Increasingly, the path-to-purchase/experience for consumers will have multiple touchpoints, both in the physical and digital worlds. Consumers are likely to continue to gravitate to digital tools that make it easy for them to save time and do other activities deemed more valuable.

Get in the insights in our NAB Consumer Insight Report – Online Virtual vs. In store In Person 2021