Online alternatives become more popular due to COVID-19

Media Release

Around one third (33 per cent) of Australians intend to shop more online than they had before the COVID-19 pandemic, and half (49 per cent) reported they would use online Telehealth services in the future, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Head of Household Surveys, David Zago, said the latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey conducted from 13 – 23 November, showed the COVID-19 pandemic was helping Australians become more comfortable with online alternatives to services.

“Women (42 per cent) were more likely than men (25 per cent) to report a preference to shop more online since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic - as were people in Victoria (43 per cent) and New South Wales (35 per cent) compared with the rest of Australia (26 per cent).

The November survey also followed up on the use of Telehealth services for medical appointments.

“Almost one in six Australians (18 per cent) used a Telehealth service in November. Women (23 per cent) were more likely than men (12 per cent) to have used Telehealth services, as were people with disability (30 per cent) and people with a long-term health condition (27 per cent).”

Around half of Australians (49 per cent) reported they were likely to use Telehealth services in the future. The most frequently cited reasons were convenience (78 per cent), saving time (52 per cent) and not needing to travel (50 per cent).

The survey also followed up on the impact of the pandemic on emotional and mental wellbeing, repeating questions asked in August when Victoria was at the peak of its second wave and nationwide restrictions were in place.

“In November, fewer Australians reported feelings that had an adverse impact on their emotional and mental wellbeing than in August.

“The most notable changes were in, at least some of the time, feeling restless or fidgety (24 per cent in November compared with 41 per cent in August), nervous (30 per cent in November compared with 46 per cent in August) or that everything was an effort (26 per cent in November compared with 41 per cent in August),” Mr Zago said.

The ABS would like to thank the Australian households that contributed to these survey results.

Media notes

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