MessageMedia: Retail’s Tech Revolution Report shows almost half of Aussie shoppers won’t return in-store

2 December, 2021; A convincing 43% of Aussies plan to never or reluctantly return to the shops after COVID-19. But shoppers are split about how they’ll get their future retail fix, with 39% desperate to pound the pavement and do traditional Christmas shopping. These are findings from global customer engagement and mobile messaging provider MessageMedia (, which today released its report – Retail’s Tech Revolution.

The new research also reveals four new Australian shopper personas based on a survey of 1000 participants.

MessageMedia found Australians were most likely to be Digital Devotees (31%) or Experience Enthusiasts (31%), followed by Local Legends (26%) and Reluctant Returners (12%). Please see appendix below for more stats on these distinct demographics.

Aimed at supporting retailers of all sizes as Australia emerges from COVID-19 restrictions, the research has also found:

  • 41% plan on shopping online at the same volume as during the pandemic.
  • One-third of men are still concerned about health and safety risks of in-store shopping, compared to almost a quarter of women (24%).
  • 40% of Australians have visited an online or physical store as a result of receiving an SMS from a retailer.

MessageMedia Chief Marketing Officer Tara Salmon said: “While our research shows a quarter of Australians want to avoid the shops this peak sales period and indefinitely into the future, there’s still a significant group that are keen to ‘hit the stores’ for deals once more. With Aussies split on how they want to shop going forward, it’s important for retailers to be prepared for both online and physical shoppers in the weeks, months, and even years ahead.

“We’ve seen our SMS communication technology implemented by retailers for both in-store and online marketing campaigns, and demand for our platform continues to grow exponentially even after COVID-19 lockdowns. It’s important that retailers of all sizes – from Mum and Dad shops to major national labels – keep up with technology as shopping evolves.”

MessageMedia’s Retail’s Tech Revolution report can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact:

Roisin Nagle, Keep Left on behalf of MessageMedia

Jayitri Smiles, Keep Left on behalf of MessageMedia

About MessageMedia

MessageMedia ( is a leading global messaging provider that helps businesses of all sizes — from SMB to enterprise-level — better connect with customers. With 90% of messages read within 90 seconds and more than 65,000 customers worldwide, MessageMedia allows teams to create engaging mobile experiences that customers love.


Report personas

Digital Devotees
Turning to online retail out of necessity during the pandemic and not looking back, nearly a third (31%) of Australians will do all they can to avoid shopping in actual stores again.

  • 42% are under 34 years of age and 85% are under 54 and show no signs of slowing down their online spending.
  • 61% plan to continue shopping online at the same level as the pandemic.
  • 37% agree that it’s no longer necessary to shop in store.

Reluctant Returners
Not overly fond of the retail experience in general, 12% of people are all about speed and convenience and prefer to shop online – but will occasionally go in-store.

  • A third (34%) reporting that they are still worried about the health and safety risks of shopping in store.
  • Half (50%) of this persona is aged 34 and under.

Local Legends
A quarter of Australians (25%) prefer to support shops close to home, seeing themselves as Local Legends.

  • 42% are excited about being able to shop in-store again, with a further 43% will only shop online only if it’s something they can’t buy in store.
  • The oldest of the four personas, 40% are 55 years of age or more.
  • 80% of this group prefers to shop at small and independent retailers and 40% prefer to avoid big shopping centres.

Experience Enthusiasts
Almost one-third (31%) of Australians will seize every chance they can get to return to physical stores for the traditional shopping experience.

  • 42% are excited about being able to shop in-store again because they missed the social aspect and overall experience of traditional shopping.
  • They are far more likely to be female than males (58% vs 42%).
  • Young people are still looking for traditional experiences, with 44% under 34 years of age.

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