Victorians Continue To Shop Local As They Seek Community Connection During Lockdown

Shopper Media’s latest Shopper Study reveals that Victorian consumers are continuing to visit their local shopping centres for essential retail and to seek community connection amid the severe stage 4 lockdown.

The study was conducted in Shopper Media’s network of Victorian centres between 12 and 16 August, surveying more than 670 shoppers.

Matt Adams, Shopper Media Group Sales Director Southern States, says the Shopper Study offers valuable insight into the attitudes and shopping behaviours of Victorians as they live under some of the tightest restrictions ever imposed in Australia.

“The study revealed that 62 per cent of Victorians are visiting their local shopping centres to top up on essential items, supporting previous findings that Australians are now more mindful of having a well-stocked panty,” says Mr Adams. “Meanwhile, 17 per cent of Victorians admit they are sometimes visiting their local shopping centres as an opportunity to get out of the house, suggesting there is a mental health aspect to visiting local centres.”

As Adams explains, local shopping centres have become a social sanctuary, providing a connection to community.

“Our study showed that 47 per cent of Victorian shoppers want to see more community-focused messaging in centres, with 34 per cent requesting that uplifting and positive messaging be displayed throughout their local centres. This signifies how important local shopping centres are to the community, which is a valuable insight for brands advertising during this time of upheaval,” Mr Adams says.

“The dwell-time in Victorian centres has dropped by 6.7 per cent in Victoria (according to Shopper Media’s August visitation trends), which is to be expected due to the restrictions imposed. However, consumers are clearly still visiting – in fact, 35 per cent of shoppers claim that while their visits to local shopping centres are shorter, they visit more often; and 9 per cent state that their visiting patterns have stayed the same. Our local centres remain a cornerstone of Victorian shopping behaviours and continue to be the perfect environment for highly targeted advertising, giving marketers a way to create meaningful, personalised and highly engaged campaigns,” adds Mr Adams.

“Victorian shoppers remain confident of the health and safety practices being employed in their local shopping centres, with 53 per cent not harbouring any worry or concern, and 33 per cent saying they only feel somewhat worried or concerned. This is undoubtedly why the visitation numbers have stayed consistent across our centres.”

This consumer confidence in local shopping centres is echoed by Shopper Media, with its expansion into seven new Victorian centres in recent months. Shopper Media’s network of 100 per cent digital Smartlite®panels is now available in more than 370 shopping centres nationally. With Wi-Fi and virtual Bluetooth beacon technology, Shopper Media captures first-party data that tracks shopper behaviour and has the ability to ask shoppers questions in real time, providing insights that lead the market.

“Even during harsh lockdown restrictions, it’s clear that Victorians are continuing to shop at their local shopping centres. These centres provide an essential service – access to food and groceries – but more than that, they provide a connection to community that is highly valued. Brands have the opportunity to tap into this loyal and engaged audience within our network of local shopping centres,” adds Mr Adams.

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