5 Remote Working Statistics To Consider For 2021 Remote Work Policies

Remote working statistics from 2020 in australia

Despite COVID-19 bringing a year of immense disruption, technology like digital workplace software has meant many office-based businesses were able to survive. But as 2020 begins to wrap up, and a vaccine could be on the horizon, business leaders may be reconsidering their remote working policies.

To make this decision, it’s important to look at 2020 as a case study and ask: Is remote working effective? Are employees more productive under the watchful eye of managers?

Remote working statistics from 2020 in australia

To explore this topic, Capterra surveyed 1,400 Australian employees (from junior staff through to leadership teams and business owners) to ask how they would rate their productivity throughout the year.

Respondents were from a mixture of remote and non-remote-settings to allow us to explore differences in answersa full methodology is available at the bottom of this article. Read on to discover the five most important statistics for businesses to consider when building their flexible remote working policies for 2021.

5 remote working statistics from 2020

  1. Around two-thirds of Australian employees are working remotely

As of November (2021), 64% of employees working for a small or medium-sized business in Australia are working remotely full-time or part-time. This statistic is up from 57% since March 2020 (when the country originally went into a lockdown and Capterra first surveyed Australian employees about remote working circumstances).

remote employees 2020 in australia
Infographic 1: Remote working statistics in Australia for 2020.

While 21% of respondents said they have always been a remote worker, 43% were new to the concept this year.

How to apply this into a flexible work policy?

This year has proven that working with a distributed workforce is possible. As a result, it makes sense that many companies will be looking to relax their viewpoints toward remote working.

From a talent attraction and retainment perspective, a flexible work policy provides companies with a competitive edge. Capterra’s remote working survey found that 87% of employees would like to continue working remotely after the lockdown ends.

2. 78% of staff say they’re just as (or more) productive at home

At the beginning of the lockdown, employers were understandably nervous about transitioning to a remote working environment. Their biggest concerns and immediate priorities at the time included retaining staff and ensuring they could remain productive while working from home.

Fortunately, the majority of staff said they’ve been able to work well in a home-office environment. Just 4% of employees surveyed said they’re less productive since working from home, and only 1% said they’re struggling.

productivity levels Australia remote working
Infographic 2: Productivity levels of Australian employees since COVID-19

Taking aside the disruptions and distractions of the pandemic, Capterra was keen to understand which environment sets employees up for greater productivity. 38% of employees surveyed said they’re just as productive at home while 44% said they’re more productive at home. Combined, these figures indicate that working outside of the office has its benefits.

productivity levels remote vs home office
Infographic 3: Staff productivity levels at home vs the office

How to apply this to a flexible work policy

With the correct resources in place, staff can be productive in a digital environmentas proven this year. However, it’s important to note that around one in five staff members (18%) said they are less productive at home. The office may not be as critical to a business’s productivity levels as it was viewed at the start of this year, but it still has a place.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to remote working, consider a more flexible arrangement that allows staff to flourish in all environments, at any given time. For example, by offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home for a certain amount of days per week.

3. 31% of remote staff say they feel they could be less managed

Capterra asked remote and non-remote staff to put themselves on a scale with regards to how well they feel they’re managed. There was only a small minority of respondents feeling extremely unsupported or extremely micromanaged. The rest (88%) sat somewhere in the middle.

However, there were some key differences between the answers of remote vs non-remote respondents.

Management styles Australia
Infographic 4: Management styles in Australia

More than half (56%) of employees who are working in the office say they’re managed just right. This is slightly less for remote employees at 43%.

Remote employees are also more likely to feel their manager could loosen the reins. Around a third (31%) of them said they believe they could be ‘left more to their own devices,’ compared to just 20% of non-remote employees.

How to apply this to your remote work policy

As a manager, it’s your duty to ensure your team can work at peak productivity, but in a remote setting, it can be tricky to provide the right amount of support without interfering.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one, set formula for getting this rightprimarily because every employee is different. However, if managers are worried about staff slipping into bad habits when out of the office, set some ground rules. Here are five examples:

  1. Get dressed before starting work
  2. Work from a desk or table (where possible)
  3. Remove distractions (where possible)
  4. Respond to messages within an hour
  5. Let your team know when you’re going on breaks.

Remote working policies provide an ideal opportunity for companies to establish how they expect staff to operate while working from home. By including these ground-rules, it instantly puts everyone on the same page.

4. 27% of remote staff feel very comfortable taking entitled breaks

Just over a quarter (27%) of remote staff said they’re very comfortable to take their entitled breaks; compared to more than a third (35%) of non-remote staff.

work life balance for staff in australia
Infographic 5: Work-life balance for remote vs non-remote staff in Australia

Additionally, there is a 10% decrease in remote staff feeling very comfortable to finish work at the end of their workday. This suggests that remote workers haven’t settled into a healthy work-life balance yet.

How to apply this to your remote work policy

Employers must keep an eye on how many hours their staff members are working to prevent issues, such as burnout. One way to monitor this is through time-tracking software. However, businesses should use their remote working policy to explain the reasons why they’ve chosen to use monitoring tools. Not doing so can negatively impact trust and lead to employees feeling policed rather than supported.

5. Use of employee monitoring tools increased by 15% during COVID-19

Since COVID-19 restrictions came in, 15% more business leaders within small and mid-sized businesses are using employee monitoring software. However, 44% said they were already using it.

Capterra asked business leaders and employees to give their stance on whether they believed employee monitoring software is generally positive or negative for businesses: 73% said it was positive. However, this number changes depending on whether the respondent is operating in the office or at home.

78% of remote leaders think employee monitoring tools are positive, compared to 51% of non-remote leaders.

employee monitoring tools impact on business
Infographic 6: Employee monitoring tools impact on business (business leaders)

Those in the office are also more likely to say the software has no impact on the business. This indicates that business leaders see less of a need for the software when operating in an office structure.

The employee perspective

In general, employees are significantly less enthusiastic about tracking tools in comparison to their leaders. However, similar to above, remote employees tended to see more value in employee monitoring tools than those who are office-based.

staff opinion employee monitoring tools impact on business
Infographic 7: Employee monitoring tools impact on business (employee perspective)

How to apply this to your remote work policy

The majority of employees said they feel employee monitoring could negatively impact the businesswhile the remaining few didn’t believe it would have any impact at all. With this in mind, business leaders should work to win the buy-in of employees to justify the use of tracking software. Otherwise, they risk amplifying anxiety and concerns.

Find the right balance when creating remote work policies

A large amount of successful remote working arrangements is founded on trust. However, establishing a remote working policy puts everyone on the same pagewhich should save you some headaches later on from discovering people have a different perception of what ‘flexible’ means.

If this your first flexible remote working policy, you may want to consider involving your staff in the conversation. Start by defining the type of arrangement that will enable your employees to thrive. For example, what tools do they need to be successful? With their perspective, you’re more likely to create a policy that keeps employees happy.

Looking for remote work software? Check out our catalogue.

Remote Working Statistics: Survey methodology:

Capterra ran a survey to highlight the most important remote work statistics from 2020, to allow companies to make better-informed decisions around remote working policies.

The survey ran during October 2020 and had 1,400 respondents take part. To qualify for this survey, respondents had to be employees of an Australian small or medium-sized business.

A Guide To Launching A Click And Collect Model: Tips, Tricks & Tools

Click and collect model australia

The modern consumer expects to receive instantaneous customer service and prompt deliveries. Retail chains must function according to those demands or watch their competitors capture their market share. The pandemic has transformed that trend into a titanic version of its former self, and one logistics system is helping to drive the change: The click and collect model.

Click and collect model australia

Today, many software and automation tools are suitable for the needs of small to medium-sized businesses, including, inventory management software—a tool that allows retailers or wholesalers to monitor inventory levels for optimal production and distribution of their goods. Retail management software (RMS) broadens that functionality by incorporating your larger point of sale and customer relationship management tools.

In this article, GetApp runs through the basics of how to successfully launch a click and collect model. But first, what exactly is a click and collect model?

What is the click & collect model?

The click & collect business model is a system in which buyers shop online but fetch their products in-store. Look past the skin of it, however, and you uncover a profound strategic process that touches the roots of your value proposition. 

The click & collect model not only allows consumers to save on delivery costs, but it also creates another layer of convenience for those who would prefer to pick up their products in person. For some, it can remove the headache of delivery drivers not being able to find a tricky address, or purchases getting lost in the post. 

How to drive a successful ‘buy online, pick up in-store’ strategy

To drive a successful ‘buy online, pick up in-store’ strategy, you’ll need to begin with an online shop. If you haven’t already set this up, you’ll want to make use of eCommerce software. Once you have your website, you can focus on the first steps to click and collect success.

Below, we’ve listed a few key aspects to consider when launching a ‘buy online, pickup in-store strategy:

1. Communication

Without communication, your click and collect system will disintegrate. A transparent process tells your customers when to collect their orders and what paperwork to produce when they do. 

Purchase order confirmations need automated triggering and comprehensive data on pickup requirements. Update tracking adds transparency, and that translates into happy buyers.  

2. Cross-selling

The click and collect model integrates your brick-and-mortar and eCommerce operations, and your customers will thank you by letting you upsell when they arrive to collect their products. 

According to Supply Chain Game Changer, 49% of buyers are likely to buy a new product when they pick up their online order. That’s not a number to sniff at, and you can drive it even higher by merchandising for impulse sales right at your collection counter.

3. Convenience

In the same report by Supply Chain Game Changer, 60% of shoppers who have a poor click and collect experience move to a new store. If your store is especially busy, and in-store pickup customers are forced to wait in long queues with other paying customers, you may lose their patience. Collections need to be convenient, so create a dedicated pickup point with pre-sorted orders and knowledgeable service staff.

4. Commercial holiday opportunities

Click and collect allows retailers to collect customer information and contact details. When the holiday season arrives, turn that data into a marketing opportunity by distributing targeted email campaigns and loyalty programmes.

Best software for implementing a click and collect strategy

Standard on-premises inventory management solutions organise your barcoding, costs, orders and count sheets. However, if you’re looking to have one system to also process sales, schedule staff, and even create actionable real-time data, retail management software is a suitable solution. 

Whichever platform you opt for, choose a comprehensive system that keeps a beady eye on your stock so that you can avoid stock-outs where desired. Your software also needs to interface with your daily website management.

It’s worth sourcing a platform that provides data insights. When you understand the supply and demand of your company and have access to your metrics, your understanding of your business grows. The more you learn, the more capable your business is at being profitable. 

Looking for retail management software? Check out our catalogue

1 in 5 SMEs has been a victim of cyber security attacks in the past three months

cyber security attacks in British SME

With the country back into full lockdown since the 5th November and remote work becoming the norm again, concerns about cyber security attacks are back in the main discussions of business owners and CEOs.

cyber security attack in British SME

Many businesses suffered from cyber attacks during the first wave of COVID-19. 30% of businesses have fallen victims to phishing attacks since the beginning of the pandemic, and with the number of attacks rising, companies need to have solid measures in place to prevent attackers from entering their systems.

We asked over 500 CEOs and business owners of British SMEs what measures they have in place to prevent these attacks. Also, if they have required new software and how they are ensuring the staff is aware of the risks when working remotely. (full methodology at the bottom of the article)

Highlights of the study:

  • 12% of companies needed new security software since the beginning of COVID-19.
  • 40% of businesses didn’t have a contingency plan after the first wave that took place in March-April this year.
  • 22% of business owners are concerned about security threats when employees work remotely.

40% of SMEs didn’t have a contingency plan in place in case of a second wave

The results of the survey show that 40% of SMEs in the UK didn’t have a contingency plan prepared in case of a second wave. 

number of businesses that had a contingency plan after first wave

Business continuity software or backup software can help you prepare for unexpected events that may put at risk the running of your SME and secure the continuity of business.

In addition, 12% of companies needed new security software to support their business since the beginning of COVID-19. Anti-virus (27%), Firewall (27%), and VPN (24%) software are the three most popular ones.

However, 21% of businesses have been victims of a cyber attack in the past three months.

Malware infection (41%) and data breach (37%) are the two forms of attacks suffered by businesses in the past three months. In addition, 80% of business owners state being concerned or very concerned about the risk of malware attack.

 Investing in antivirus and network security software can help your business prepare for those threats and mitigate the effects of a possible attack. Check out some different software to see which one offers the features that are most suited to your needs. Visit the cyber security listing on GetApp UK for more information on vendors and features.

Remote work and security are still a concern for business owners

22% of business owners are concerned about security threats when employees work remotely.

However, they have issued a series of guidelines to make sure that employees are aware of the risks. 33%  say advising employees not to use public wifi when working from a cafe or places with a shared connection.

A third of them also recommend staff use a VPN when connecting to the company network. 28% also recommends changing both system and router passwords regularly. 

Brian Reed, senior director analyst at Gartner, recommends that owners reassess the security measures that were put in place during the first wave to see if they are still relevant:

“Now that a few months have passed since the initial remote push, it’s time for a needs assessment and review of what has changed to determine if access levels are correct and whether any security measures are actually impeding work.”

 

Password management software and authentication software can help with managing and organising passwords as well as providing a centralised, secure location for them.

22% of business owners will require cyber security skills from new employees

Cybersecurity skills are amongst the ones most demanded by businesses looking at 2021. 22% of business owners say they will require some cyber security skills from new employees that are hired. 

Companies are investing in training employees on the skills that are currently needed. A third of companies are using interactive web-based training such as webinars and 32% are using computer-based online training. 

In addition, SMEs are making changes to their employee training budget during this second lockdown. 20% are planning on making minor increases in the training budget while 13% will significantly increase the training budget.

Using Webinar software to train employees is a great way to make it visual and engaging for them to learn new skills. If you don’t have the resources to provide a course to your staff, the National Cyber Security Centre has launched a new free training tool for SMEs. 

The short course takes less than 30 min to complete and trains staff on four key areas of cyber security: 

  1. Identifying phishing
  2. The importance of having strong passwords
  3. Securing the devices 
  4. Reporting incidents

Security alerts and access controls are the two most asked questions to vendors

Security alerts (33%) and access controls (27%) are the two most popular topics raised when looking to purchase new software.

However, the results of the survey show that 18% of business owners also ask vendors about regulatory aspects such as GDPR compliance.

most common topics asked to vendors

A resilient business model will help your SME to be better prepared for unexpected events. Furthermore, this will support the digital transformation of your business without disruption.

Looking for Cyber Security software? Check out our catalogue

*Data for the GetApp New Business Model Survey has been collected in November 2020. The sample comes from an online survey of 1,851 respondents that live in the UK.

The survey data used for this article comes from 539 participants who have qualified to answer.  The information in this article corresponds to the average of all surveyed participants.

The criteria for participants is:

  • Owner, founder, or another head role
  • C-suite executive (e.g., CEO, CIO)
  • President or vice president

eCommerce trends: 59% of consumers shift to online shopping

ecommerce trends

It is no secret that the UK retail industry is struggling. Just last month, the British Retail Consortium warned that the latest COVID-19 lockdown will have “a significant economic impact on the viability of thousands of shops and hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country”.  To help brands understand the eCommerce trends at play, we asked 1,005 consumers in the UK how the pandemic is changing the way they shop (full methodology is available at the bottom of the article).

ecommerce trends

 

The findings show that 59% of British shoppers are now spending more online and less in brick and mortar stores. As a result, business success depends on retailers placing greater emphasis on their eCommerce offering.

In this article, we will look at the online shopper preferences that can help brands convert their online traffic into sales.

Fashion and grocery driving online sales

One of the first steps to becoming a successful retailer is knowing what your customers want to buy. To find out what products are currently driving eCommerce sales, we asked respondents what they have been using eCommerce to shop for since the pandemic began. The top 5 responses are as follows:

ecommerce trends

However, in the world of online retail, it is not as simple as knowing what products to stock. You also need to understand how customers prefer to interact with eCommerce platforms.

When asked what devices they use when shopping online, the responses suggest it is critical merchants have multi-channel functionality. This shows a diverse range of preferences across both desktop and mobile.

ecommerce trends

Shoppers move online to avoid in-store crowds

Fulfilment options are another important factor when it comes to attracting, converting and retaining customers.

63% stated using online delivery one to two times a week before COVID-19. The pandemic appears to be a significant factor. 58% state that avoiding contact with crowds in-store is one of the main reasons for doing so. But receiving items at home and convenience also ranks high (55%).

Almost a quarter of people (24%) did not use online delivery at all before COVID-19, dropping to 19% today.

Respondents were asked a similar set of questions about their use of in-store and pick-up point delivery since the start of the pandemic. While the majority do not use it at all (48%), 42% do so around one to two times a week. More frequent users were in the minority. 8% use these services three to five times a week, and 3% in excess of five times per week.

The most popular reason for using in-store or pick-up point delivery was to avoid crowds in-store (45%). Respondents also stated to receive items at the shopper’s time and convenience (45%) and to reduce the time, stress and friction in-store (41%).

Other motivations included saving on delivery fees (38%) and the ability to check for missing, incorrect or damaged items (19%).

COVID-19  has been a factor in motivating some people to use in-store or pick-up point delivery. However, the data suggests most will continue to do so after the pandemic is over. When asked about the likelihood of this occurring, 20% responded “highly likely” and 42% “likely.”

Out of stock items the biggest pain point for online shoppers

Beyond general preferences relating to device and fulfilment options, there is a range of issues that are highly likely to turn consumers off a brand. Effective inventory management should be a priority for businesses.  Respondents rank “out of stock products” as their top pain point (68%).

Of course, some issues are outside of the merchant’s control. Over six in 10 shoppers (61%) report that the inability to touch, feel or test products is a major issue for them when using eCommerce services. Implementing effective returns and refunds processes, however, should go some way to addressing this.

The results suggest that the accuracy and volume of the product information on-site are especially important. Over half of the respondents complained about the quality of products not being as described. Another 47% had encountered what they felt was misleading product photography and descriptions.

Optimising your business for the consumer shift online

 The one thing most shoppers want to see is a greater focus on the basics. For example webpage loading speeds, real-time stock checking or a smoother checkout experience. 60% said this would have a positive effect, 36% neutral and only 4% negative.

A significant number of consumers also want to see online brands employ innovation to better replicate in-store experiences. 23% stated that the introduction of functionality like Augmented Reality (AR) enabled virtual changing rooms would improve the eCommerce experience.

In a previous GetApp study of 1,000 UK consumers, of the 85% of consumers yet to use AR to buy online, 53% were interested in trying it. Similarly, another GetApp study focused on Virtual Reality (VR) revealed that while 87% had yet to use the technology to shop, 49% were keen to try.

 54% of people identify delayed or slow delivery as a particular challenge relating to eCommerce. However, the research found some circumstances in which respondents were prepared to wait. Almost half (45%) confirmed they would be happy to wait longer for their orders if it was guaranteed products were both sourced and delivered sustainably.

In the short-term, online merchants should refocus their attention on improving the core features and functionality that users expect as standard. But as the eCommerce space becomes increasingly crowded, investment in innovation may be an effective strategy for differentiating them from the competition.

Looking for eCommerce software? Check out our catalogue

*Data for the GetApp UK Customer Experience Survey was collected in October 2020 from an online survey of 1,491 respondents that live in the UK.

The survey data used for this article comes from 1,005 participants who qualified to answer.  The information in this article corresponds to the average of all surveyed participants.

The criteria for participants is consumers who have made an online purchase in the last 6 – 12 months.

 

Holiday Trends: Kiwis Plan To Shop More Online, Spend Less Time In-store

ecommerce trends in Singapore

If you are not an online shopping expert by now, you probably soon will be. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of technology across many industries and the retail sector was one that was forced to pick-up brick and mortar stores and transition to an eCommerce shop. This reality has pushed many people to their mobile phones, tablets, and laptops in order to buy essentials as well as facilitate their Christmas shopping.

christmas shopping in New Zealand

To help brands better understand this dramatic shift in behaviour, GetApp surveyed 1,013 shoppers from New Zealand to show how the pandemic is changing the way Kiwis shop, as well as if they think these changes will last in the long-term (*see below for the full survey methodology).

Change in shopping budgets and platforms for Kiwi customers

New Zealand as a country took one of the most aggressive approaches to COVID-19 by entering stage 4 lockdown early and for an extended period. While in recent months restrictions have eased significantly, the strict border closure has caused shopping malls to experience a sharp decline in foot traffic. Even with the country relatively COVID-19 free, the virus has caused many Kiwis to alter their shopping habits.

When it comes to overall expenditure across both in-store and online platforms, 44% of Kiwis are still spending the same amount of money as before the pandemic with 33% spending less money and 23% spending more money than before the pandemic.

A pie chart showing Covid's impact on NZ shopping, with the majority spending the same

However, looking at where Kiwis spend their money there is a definite shift toward online platforms over traditional brick and mortar shops. Almost half of New Zealand shoppers (49%) report spending more online and less in-store.

A chart showing respondents in Singapore spend more time online and less in-store

Yet whether this remains a long-term move is yet to be played out. Early indications suggest that shoppers are wanting to go back to a traditional in-store shopping experience. Over the next six months, 41% of respondents believe they will move to a hybrid model spending the same amount of money via online and in-person platforms.

Respondents prefer online delivery to avoid in-store crowds

The festive period including the lead-up to Christmas and the days directly following the holiday is a critical time of the year for many retailers. COVID-19 has created the demand for many businesses to offer online shopping with 34% of New Zealand shoppers stating they will spend more online and less in-store due to the current environment.

22% also don’t associate the in-store experiences with raising their Christmas spirit and 43% are more inclined to shop online due to the convenience it affords.

New Zealand is also seeing more use of online delivery services with 45% of shoppers turning to online delivery once or twice a week since the start of COVID-19. When asked for the top reasons for using online delivery, 51% said that it was to avoid contact with crowds in-store.

A chart showing Singaporean shoppers for using online delivery, with the top reason being to avoid contact with crowds

Kiwi shoppers choose independent online stores over eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy, and, eBay

When questioned about the most preferred eCommerce brands, the responses across New Zealand were varied. Shoppers were asked where they typically shop online, and while established online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy were used, 35% of Kiwis preferred independent online stores. This was followed by 19% opting to shop directly from a retailer or brand website, and 12% choosing to shop from Amazon.

Moreover, 45% of shoppers in New Zealand said they have purchased from one or two new online stores since the start of the pandemic, 32% said they haven’t discovered and purchased from a new online store at all.

A chart showing the that the majority of respondents have tried 1-2 new stores

There is a significant opportunity for eCommerce vendors to grow their business in the current economic environment. However, with few established brands dominating the space, it is vital they understand the trends driving consumer behaviour and adopt a strategy that reflects this.

Looking for eCommerce software? Check out our catalogue.

Methodology

*Data for the GetApp Customer Experience Survey was collected in October 2020 from an online survey of 1,013 respondents from New Zealand. The survey data used for this article comes from all of the above participants who qualified to answer.  The information in this article corresponds to the average of all surveyed participants. The criteria for participants are consumers who have made an online purchase in the last 6 – 12 months.

COVID-19 Driving More Online Shopping in Singapore

ecommerce trends in Singapore

Months into the gradual relaxation of its safe distancing measures after completing the circuit breaker in June, Singapore still has limited permitted travel outside its borders and continued government recommendations to carry out business at home when possible. COVID-19 continues to drive more traffic to eCommerce shops.

ecommerce trends in Singapore

With some of the largest shopping days of the year—Singles Day (November 11th) and Cyber Monday (November 30th)—taking place, we surveyed 1,007 consumers in Singapore to better understand these changes, how long they will last, and the thinking behind the spending shift (*see below for the full survey methodology).

Shoppers in Singapore are spending more

Even though June’s retail sales in Singapore were down 28% year-on-year from June 2019, the industry saw this as a marked improvement. That was already higher than in May, at the height of Singapore’s circuit breaker, when retail sales fell 52% year-on-year‚ a record-breaking drop, according to the Department of Statistics (SingStat).

In response to COVID-19, 48% of Singaporean shoppers surveyed are spending more than they did pre-pandemic.

Most of that spending increase is going to eCommerce, a running theme as we head into 2021. Singapore’s affinity for eCommerce is well-documented, with the average online shopper spending over 1.5 times the global yearly average. Over half (51%) of respondents reported that they would spend more online and less in-store in the next six months, while 31% indicated that they would spend the same amount for purchases online and in stores.

A pie chart showing people are spending more time online since Covid in Singapore

It’s not just money that is being spent: Pre-pandemic, 46% of shoppers surveyed spent 1-2 hours online, while 54% spent more. Since COVID-19, 75% of shoppers spend three hours or more shopping online per week, with three to five hours being the most popular amount of time (41%).

A chart showing the time spent Singaporeans spend online shopping before and since COVID

The survey also highlights a prime time for new eCommerce companies to get their products into the market. 48% of respondents said they had purchased from 1-2 new stores since COVID-19, while only 21% reported that they have not discovered and purchased from any new online outlets.

In-store pick-ups mean increased safety, but also more convenience and savings

Over half (52%) of Singaporeans report using in-store or pickup delivery one to two times per week since COVID-19, with 18% saying they turn to delivery 3-5 times per week.

COVID-19 is a clear factor here, with 55% of respondents citing their preference for eCommerce to be due to a desire “to avoid contact with crowds in-store,” but this also supports a longer-term trend toward the practice. The highest-cited reason was “to pick up items at my convenience” (64%) and “to save on delivery fees” (61%).

Online delivery had similar numbers, with a notable number of newcomers to the online delivery space. Before COVID-19, 18% of respondents had never used online delivery. The pandemic saw that number come down to 7%.

While convenience and a desire to avoid crowds once again topped the list of reasons, 43% of respondents reported turning to online delivery “to take advantage of promotions, discounts, coupons.”

A glimpse into the future of the Singapore shopping experience

More consumers in Singapore are shifting to eCommerce, but that doesn’t mean that the transition is happening smoothly. Those surveyed also pointed out areas where their online shopping experiences could be improved. Over half (57%) of respondents were looking for a more personalized experience, and 73% of respondents requested improvement in “the basics”: webpage load speeds, real-time stock checking, or a smoother checkout experience.

These shoppers are also looking to the future. For example, 48% of those surveyed reported interest in next-generation functionality, such as virtual changing rooms that bring the in-store experience into the virtual realm.

eCommerce companies looking to do right by Singapore consumers will have to continue an omnichannel approach to implementation, as the population has a fairly even split between a preference for mobile shopping (55%) and desktop shopping (45% ). Those interested in adopting an omnichannel approach need to ensure that they are using their data and infrastructure such as inventory management and customer management to deliver a holistic view of their interactions with customers on any channel at any time.

Sustainability could become a big factor in consumer purchase decisions. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those surveyed reported they would wait longer for eCommerce orders if it could be guaranteed that the products were both sourced and delivered sustainably.

Looking for eCommerce software? Check out our catalogue.

Methodology

*Data for the GetApp SG Customer Experience Survey was collected in October 2020 from an online survey of 1,007 respondents that live in Singapore. The survey data used for this article comes from 1,007 participants who qualified to answer.  The information in this article corresponds to the average of all surveyed participants.
The criteria for participants are consumers who have made an online purchase in the last 6 – 12 months.

COVID-19 drives eCommerce in South Africa ahead of festive season

ecommerce trends in Singapore

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a serious toll on shopper behaviour not only from a decline in spending but also in how they shop. With social distancing restrictions, a possible second wave of infections, and adaptations to new lifestyles, the crisis is driving more traffic to South African eCommerce merchants than before.

To help brands better understand this dramatic shift in behaviour, over 1,000 South African consumers participated in our customer experience survey where consumers shared how the pandemic is changing the way they shop. They also shared some insights into whether they believe these changes will last in the long term (*see below for the full survey methodology). 

ecommerce in south africa

How has shopper behaviour changed during lockdown?

During the various levels of lockdown, there have been varying degrees of social and merchandise restrictions as well as depreciating disposable income. Many people can’t shop as they did before and this has led to 42% of people saying that they have spent less as a result of COVID-19. 

ecommerce in south africa

However, looking at where customers spend, the shift is more significant. Almost six in 10 people (59%) report spending more online and less in-store. This trend is likely to continue: In the next six months, 44% will continue spending more online and less in-store, while 27% expect their spending to remain the same for both in-store and online.

ecommerce in south africa

An online eCommerce Christmas

The December shopping period is the most important season of the year for many retailers. This year it will see a dramatic difference in consumer spending, with  52% indicating that they will spend more online and less in-store, while only 21%, will spend the same in-store and online. 

COVID-19 is a clear factor—whilst responders generally prefer this wasn’t the case, as they feel shopping in-store is an important part of getting into the holiday season spirit. 46% consider this shift to be a good thing due to the added convenience it provides.

It’s not just more of our money we’re spending online—we’re spending more of our time too:

The graph below shows how much time people spent prior to and since COVID-19, shopping online each week.

online shopping for the Christmas period

The survey reveals a significant number of people who pre-pandemic did not use online delivery on a regular basis. 55%, use in-store/pick-up point delivery 1 -2 times a week followed by 22% who use it 3-5 times a week. 

Avoiding contact with crowds (77%) and convenience (49%), are the top reasons for respondents to choose online delivery since the beginning of the pandemic.

However, online shopping has its challenges. 61% of respondents say that their biggest deterrents when shopping online were out of stock products. This was followed by 58% stated that they had to pay high delivery fees and 57 % reported that they experienced delayed/slow delivery.

Preferred eCommerce brands for South African consumers

The results showed that there was an almost even split amongst popular eCommerce brands available in the market.

Depending on their shopping needs 26% of respondents said, they would shop directly from retailer/brand websites.  20% shop from independent online stores and 22% shop from established online marketplaces (e.g. eBay and WISH). 17% of shoppers use Social media tools such as Instagram and Facebook to buy and 14% buy using Amazon.

There is a significant opportunity for eCommerce vendors to grow their business in the current economic environment. However, with relatively few established brands dominating the space, it is vital they understand the trends driving consumer behaviour and adopt a strategy that reflects this.

Social media is the top way for discovering brands in South Africa

The research had some interesting insights. For example, how respondents discover new online shopping sites, suggesting there are four approaches that are particularly influential.

Social media ranks by far the most impactful with 51%.  Website ads are the second most impactful (49%). And search engines came third (42%) followed by word of mouth referrals (36%).

Bad experiences while browsing, selecting items, or making payments can rapidly result in abandoned baskets—a longstanding issue for the industry. According to Statista, the worldwide rate for online shopping cart abandonment sat at 69.57% in 2019. Finding effective ways to address it promises to have a significant impact on a merchant’s bottom line.

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*Data for the GetApp SA Customer Experience Survey was collected in October 2020 from an online survey of 1,000 respondents that live in South Africa.

The survey data used for this article comes from 1,006 participants who qualified to answer.  The information in this article corresponds to the average of all surveyed participants.

The criteria for participants is consumers who have made an online purchase in the last 6 – 12 months. 

Christmas Shopping Trends: COVID-19 Drives Seasonal Shopping Online

Christmas shopping trends

COVID-19 is forcing a major and imminent transformation in the retail sector. While Australia took an aggressive approach towards fighting the virus early on, ongoing clusters in Melbourne and Sydney have kept much of the country closed down from each other.

For those states that are open, ongoing social distancing restrictions will be in effect for the foreseeable future. This strategy has led to many Aussie shoppers turning to eCommerce merchants. In this article, GetApp highlights new Christmas shopping trends bought about by these changes.

Christmas shopping trends

GetApp surveyed 1,000 consumers from Australia to identify changes in their shopping behaviour. The full survey methodology is available at the bottom of this article.

Aussie shoppers have changed their spending habits to explore more online options

As a result of the pandemic, and the restrictions that came with it, the way people are shopping in Australia has shifted. More than half (54%) are spending more or less than they were before COVID-19.

shopping behaviour impact

Consumer shopping platform preferences are also changing:

Impact COVID had on consumer shopping mix

However, coronavirus isn’t the only contributing factor to changing consumer shopping behaviour. For example, the Australian bushfires have had an impact because they reduced disposable income for the vast population affected. The lack of international tourists, due to border closures, is also causing a sharp decline in foot traffic for the already struggling Australian high street.

eCommerce is emerging as the popular choice for shoppers this Christmas

The lead-up to Christmas is a critical moment for many brick-and-mortar retail businesses. However, this year, 40% of shoppers say they’ll explore online stores to do their seasonal shopping.

Opinions are split around the transition toward online shopping. While 33% see it as a good thing due to convenience, 34% see shopping in-store as a big part of getting into the Christmas spirit. About one third are indifferent.

Similarly, while Aussies have been in lockdown, there has been an increase in how many hours people are spending shopping on the internet.

Considering these results, it’s unsurprising that more people are therefore relying on delivery services. 57% of consumers in the survey say they’re now using online delivery services once or twice a week since COVID-19.

The preferred eCommerce brands in Australia

Respondents were asked where they typically shop online, and while 31% of them selected established online marketplaces (such as eBay and Etsy) as their go-to for online shopping, 23% opted to shop directly from a retailer or brand websites. 18% said they shop from Amazon.

40% of Australian respondents said they have purchased from one or two new online stores. However, 38% also said they have not discovered and purchased from new online stores—sticking to shops they know.

Ways to improve brand visibility for Aussie businesses

Search engine optimisation (SEO) ranks as the most impactful way for businesses to get their name and goods in front of consumers, with 44% of respondents claiming they found new websites via a search engine. Social media platforms are the second most impactful channel, with 28% of responses. Website ads (23%) came in third place and word of mouth (19%) was listed as the fourth.

There is an opportunity for eCommerce vendors to grow their business in the current economic environment. However, with relatively few established brands dominating the space, it is vital they understand the trends driving consumer behaviour and adopt a strategy that reflects this.

Looking for eCommerce software? Check out our catalogue.

Christmas Shopping Trends: GetApp Australia eCommerce Survey methodology*

This survey ran in October 2020 from an online survey of 1,000 respondents from Australia. The criteria for participants were consumers who have made an online purchase in the last 6 – 12 months.

59% Of Aussie SME Business Leaders use Employee Monitoring Software

employee monitoring statistics

When Australia first went into a lockdown in March 2020, it was unclear how businesses would cope. To many, working from home full-time was a brand new concept. One key area of concern was how administrators and supervisors would manage their staff without being under the same roof.

employee monitoring statistics

In this article, we explore how using tracking and surveillance software plays an important role in the relationships between employers and their managers. 

But first, let’s go over some of the basics of what employee monitoring is, and the rules around what businesses can and can’t track. 

What is employee monitoring? 

Employee monitoring is the process by which a business tracks its staff’s work activities. Through software, companies can measure elements such as productivity, efficiency, and security. This data gives them a greater understanding of areas where they’re thriving as well as the ones which require attention.

An employee monitoring system also looks at how staff engage with individual and corporate goals. On top of that, it covers some basic HR (human resource) aspects, like tracking attendance and sick days.

Is employee monitoring legal in Australia?

Yes, employee monitoring is legal in Australia. However, the law permits that employers can’t do so without informing their staff. There are some exceptions to the rule—but this is rare and to do so would require a “covert surveillance authority” from a Magistrate

In most cases, however, employers must inform staff members that tracking or surveillance software has been installed or activated on their work devices within 14 days of doing so. This includes the tracking of:

  • User activity: Computer monitoring, internet access, time-tracking, web browsing. 
  • Active vs idle time: Mouse movements, keystroke logging (the action of recording the keys struck on a keyboard), login/log out time.
  • Attendance: Login/log out time, active/idle time, attendance, sick days.
  • Workspaces: Using webcams & video surveillance to take time-lapse photos or screenshots.
  • Audio conversations: Phone use.
  • Digital communications: Emails, instant chat, video conference.
  • Social media: Personal account use.
  • Location: Vehicle & GPS tracking.
  • Time management: Total time spent on individual tasks, time spent on projects, work calendar.
  • Workload management: Action lists, work schedule, goal metrics & KPIs (key performance indicators.)
  • Health & fitness: Wearable technologies to track physical wellbeing.

It’s important that employers explain exactly what they’re monitoring, and in a way that is easy to understand. For some areas, such as tracking staff’s internet and social media activities, employers should create clear policies to help increase awareness.

The current state of employee tracking in Australian SMEs

Many small and medium-sized businesses in Australia leapt forward in terms of digital transformation in 2020. Part of this was learning how to operate digitally with a distributed workforce and remote working software.

Capterra wanted to understand how the transition to remote work had impacted work relationships within Australian SMEs. We surveyed 1,400 Australian professionals about managerial relationships within their business; 20% of responses came from business and department leaders. *To see a detailed methodology of the survey, skip to the bottom of this article. 

Key employee monitoring statistics

1. 59% of business leaders surveyed use tools to monitor their employees

While the majority (59%) of business leaders said they use an employee monitoring software, only 15% said they introduced the software after COVID-19 restrictions came in. This suggests that businesses saw employee monitoring software as a valuable business asset before companies began operating remotely full-time. 

Tracking computer activity is the most common forms of surveillance

Monitoring staff’s computer activity, such as internet access, time-tracking and web browsing, is the most common employee monitoring solution. 

employee monitoring purposes
Infographic 1: Most common forms of employee monitoring

In recent years, wearable technologies (such as smartwatches and fitness-tracking bands) have made their way into the workplace. The idea is to promote healthier lifestyle choices and improve health. In turn, this should improve employee productivity, because according to Corporate Wellness Magazine, ‘a healthy employee is more likely to be productive than an unhealthy one.’ 

Despite this, only 14% of business leaders are following this trend, with health & fitness tracking proving to be the least popular form of surveillance. 

2. 73% of leaders believe tracking software has a positive impact on their business

Almost three quarters (73%) of business leaders from the survey said that they had seen some positive impacts of using employee monitoring software. 

employyee monitoring benefits
Infographic 2: Ways business leaders say tracking tools benefit their business

Around a quarter (24%) of business leaders also referenced the benefit of having greater visibility over HR issues, like workplace bullying or harassment.

Increased business security was another benefit noted by 28% of leaders surveyed. Given the potential threats of cybercrime (of which SMEs are the biggest target), there is a genuine need for businesses to keep a close eye on whether staff are following security measures. Activity monitoring also enables companies to protect themselves against insider threats (like data breaches) and track how employees store sensitive data.

More than three quarters (79%) of business owners who use employee tracking software say they plan to continue investing in it. 

3. 54% of employees believe tracking software can have a negative impact

Staff aren’t as enthusiastic as their leaders and management team are about tracking software. Just 28% of employees surveyed said it has a positive impact while 54% said the opposite. 

Employees are mostly indifferent or comfortable with tracking software

In general, 18% of the employees surveyed are indifferent about being monitored via software. This trend was evident across almost all areas of employee monitoring.

comfortability employee monitoring
Infographic 3: Employees rate their comfortability levels towards monitoring software

4. Deflated morale, increased stress, and work-life balance is a concern

Even though employees weren’t objecting to the use of their manager using software to track them, they did flag some concerns:

Employee morale

46% of respondents said knowing they’re being monitored (actually or hypothetically) would have no impact on how hard they work. In terms of motivation, 39% said it had or would have no impact. However, despite this, 42% of respondents expressed a concern around employee monitoring hurting trust levels within the business. Similarly, 44% of respondents said the software deflates morale.

Increased stress

There were also some important differences in behaviour from the respondents who said they are tracked versus those that aren’t:

  • 37% of employees who aren’t monitored through software say they feel very comfortable to take their entitled breaks 
  • 26% of employees who are tracked said the same. 

Overall, 46% of respondents said they feel concerned about the software contributing to increased stress from staff.

Prolonged pressure to work outside of contract hours

Employees who are monitored are also less comfortable ending their workday—28% of employees who are tracked said they’re very comfortable with leaving at the end of the day. However, this is less than unmonitored employees, 38% of respondents from this demographic said the same.

This feeling of being watched may put undue pressure on staff and create a culture of poor work-life balance. To avoid this, employers must actively keep an eye on their staff’s working hours to prevent further issues, like staff burnout. 

Ironically, using monitoring tools (such as time tracking software) is one way to learn how much work employees can achieve within their contracted hours. However, it’s important that managers explain the purpose behind the software usage.

How employers can get staff on board with tracking tools

The survey highlights that business leaders may be using employee monitoring software with good intentions, but there is a clear elephant in the room: Employees don’t like it.

While the survey demonstrated that most employees aren’t putting up any form of resistance towards being tracked via software—they don’t necessarily see the value in it. This is where employers could do more to get their staff’s buy-in. Providing greater insight into how software is beneficial to employees may relieve some anxiety and lead to greater acceptance. 

Looking for employee monitoring software? Check out our catalogue.

Survey methodology: Employee Monitoring Survey 2020 Australia, 09/11/2020.

Capterra conducted this survey in October 2020 of 1,400 respondents to learn more about how employee monitoring software affects the relationships between managers and employees. To qualify for this survey, respondents had to be employees of an Australian small or medium-sized business. 

4 Christmas eCommerce campaign tips for new online retailers

christmas shopping with ecommerce

The pandemic is redefining the way consumers shop and retailers sell. Social distancing has become one of the industry’s greatest boundaries, so retailers are moving to eCommerce in droves. Shoppers are doing their best to avoid in-store experiences, so alternative delivery options are booming. This year’s Christmas and the holiday season will be different than any that have come before, and only those who adapt fast will collect the season’s heaving revenues. In this article, we will provide tips on how to run an eCommerce Christmas campaign that sustains profits and engages customers.

christmas shopping with ecommerce

Nurturing the double-sided relationship

eCommerce is a two-way relationship that’s built on a foundation of mutual curiosity. The eCommerce Christmas campaign must improve buyers’ perception of how they are treated. Relationship and Email marketing rise to the challenge by, for example:

  • Running loyalty programs.
  • Allowing real-time buyer feedback through reviews, email monitoring and website moderation.
  • Sustaining an active level of social media engagement via pages and social listening tools that discover brand mentions across all networks.
  • Offering instant responses to complaints.
  • Acknowledging birthdays and other significant days.

Today’s buyers want to feel valued. The days when customers were happy to engage with an impersonal support team are over. Eighty-two per cent of consumers expect an instantaneous reply on sales and marketing queries, but automation has made that pace possible.

#1: Social Media marketing

If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, establishing one should be at the top of your eCommerce Christmas campaign priorities. You can’t take care of your online buyers through smiling sales staff, so your online tools just became a thousand times more important. Seventy-three per cent of buyers intend to increase their online shopping after the COVID-19 crisis is over, so your online presence is an investment that can attract new potential customers.

#2: Loyalty and your business

You can’t win your buyers’ hearts through real-world conversation during a pandemic, so loyalty has become a scarce asset. Seventy-nine per cent of shoppers are more likely to keep supporting businesses that have loyalty programs, so they’re the perfect way to turbo-charge your eCommerce Christmas campaign. Not all programs are successful, though. Fifty-seven per cent of Americans have abandoned a loyalty program because their rewards took too long to earn. You’ll need to create a product with frequent paybacks.

No reward program can function without customer data, but today’s buyers are reluctant to give their email addresses away. The old-fashioned opt-in newsletter is perhaps the simplest way to sign your buyers on. Offering an exchange of rewards for contact information should be a microcosm of your greater loyalty program.

#3: Choosing the right rewards

Your choice of rewards can kill your eCommerce Christmas campaign before it gets out the gates. A Gartner survey found that 53% of buyers are willing to exchange their data for cash rewards. Forty-two per cent are satisfied with free products, and 34% will sign on for discounts or coupons. A meagre 27% were willing to do so in exchange for loyalty points, which are too slow to deliver. Effective rewards are accessible, tangible and significant, so choose wisely.

Making loyalty the core of your Christmas eCommerce campaign

Your loyalty program is useless without visibility, so it will need its own optimised digital campaign. You should market it through all channels, from your business website to your social media, but how do you reach those who aren’t in your purview yet? Cross-promotion is up to the task. One of the most iconic examples of this structure is the Android and Kit-Kat campaign, which gave away 50 million opportunities to win a tablet or gift card. Neither brand paid a penny beyond their rewards, and therein lies the beauty of this strategy. With imagination on your side, you’ll soon be migrating all that heaving data to the cloud.

#4: Software and loyalty

A successful loyalty program is demanding on your time, but loyalty program software is up to the task. It will manage your point redemptions and form a membership portal so that your buyers can track their rewards. More importantly, it will help you to track your customers, and that digs up more data to fuel your future marketing campaigns.

COVID-19 has changed buyers. They have new values, different fears and fresh shopping habits. It’s time to get to know them, find out what they care about, where they live and how they shop. Your loyalty software will help you to do exactly that, but if you want a more powerful option, customer management software will handle your CX from the first point of contact to the final loyalty point. If you’re just getting started with eCommerce, you need an entry-level tool that will help you to set up your online store. A retail management system with point of sale functionality will make your migration to digital trade much easier.

The new target market

Buyers have undergone drastic changes to their shopping habits and lifestyles since the pandemic struck. Their priorities have changed, and with them, the stores they prefer. They use different social media and have new delivery preferences. In other words, they’ve evolved into an entirely new target market. You’ll need to return to your marketing with fresh eyes and new data. This will only be the most wonderful time of the year if you adjust. If you can bring human values and feelings to the impersonal and inhuman online ecosystem, you’ll enjoy a bumper Christmas.

Looking for eCommerce software? Check out our catalogue