16 June 2020
Woman working on laptop from home office

Today’s blog post focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on online activity in Australia in relation to 3 common reasons that people visit websites; to learn, to buy and to be informed. 

To learn

Leading search and marketing news source, Search Engine Journal recently published an article on why people visit websites, attributing the rapid rise in online learning to the number one reason being ‘To learn”. They talk about how quickly schools and universities adapted to offer homeschooling and other online courses during the COVID-19 lockdown, harnessing the power of the internet to prevent a major disruption to education.

It seems that our innate obsession with learning dictates the websites we choose to visit. Digital data experts at SimilarWeb have identified Google, YouTube and Facebook as the 3 highest ranked websites in Australia, which are essentially content platforms for people to access current information about people and events around them. This suggests that users know exactly where they can find out relevant information in a format that they prefer to absorb and with or without realising it, learn. 

To buy

There has been a noticeable uplift in online consumer purchasing as suggested in this article from TechRepublic which details findings from Forters global merchant network. TechRepublic explains that these findings are largely due to stay at home restrictions in place as a result of COVID-19, as many physical operations have become virtual.

SimilarWeb listed ecommerce powerhouses ebay.com.au and gumtree.com.au as numbers 7 and 20, which demonstrates the desire for Australians to buy products from a website that has a ,au domain name and a trusted, local presence. Other popular ecommerce sites ranked in the top 30 include woolworths.com.au and bunnings.com.au. In Australia, online purchases have increased significantly as a result of COVID-19, something that is only expected to continue as the ease of digital purchasing is realised by different age groups.

To be informed

SimilarWeb identified search giant Google as the number one most visited website in Australia, as users seek to be informed by the popular “go-to” route for information. Popular news websites including news.com.au and abc.net.au are ranked number 12 and 13, which reveals our tendency to access news directly in keeping informed of issues of national interest.

The COVID-19 lockdown is having a significant effect in online traffic and purchasing, as people adapt their habits to suit their needs while staying safe. Although our reasons for accessing certain websites may change slightly as we see the “new normal” in effect, our reliance on the internet is expected to remain strong, which highlights the importance of all businesses having an online website presence.

Have a question, comment or idea for a future blog post? Email us at blog@afilias.com.au