Online Shopping Behaviour Australia

Online Shopping Behaviour

Internet Shopping In Australia

The use of the internet for online shopping by Australian households continues to grow. According to the results from the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics, nearly two-thirds of 64% of all Australian internet users aged 15 years and over make internet purchases. This has increased from 61% in 2006-07.

According to the ABS domestic, it was estimated that internet retail sales were between $19 and $24 billion.

What Are We Buying Online?

Australians regularly purchase an assortment of goods and services online. According to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (2013), the most popular online purchase was, by percentage;

  • Travel goods and services (56%)
  • Entertainment events, concerts and movie tickets (46%)
  • Household goods such as furniture, electronics and computers (37%)

The most common reason for online shopping was convenience (74%). This was followed by lower prices (38%) and wider availability of products and services (16%).

What We Expect When Shopping Online

In general, online shoppers are less satisfied with customer service when shopping online, than they are when shopping in-store. This contemporary need for quick online support is illustrated by the fact that over a third of Australian online shopper’s abandon website if they have difficulty in getting any help online.

Who Is Shopping Online?

Men (74%) were reported to be more likely to make online purchases than women (65%). Online shopping patterns also varied between age groups. Not unsurprisingly, the youngest age groups were those aged 25-34 years (82%) and 35-44 years (79%) dominating online purchases.

Younger shoppers also purchase a large number of goods and services with 15% of those aged 25-34 years having purchased 16 or more goods or services online in the 6-month research period to November 2009, and with 18% of 35-44-year-olds doing the same.

The value of purchases made is also interesting with over half (54%) of Australian internet shoppers spending less than $1,000 online in the 6 months period.

A survey commissioned by LivePerson also provides some interesting insights into online shopping behaviour;

  • A large majority (74%) of Australian shoppers research online before they shop in-store, this compares to 78% at a global level.
  • A significant number (23%) research on their mobile while in-store.
  • Online shopping is quicker with only 32% of shoppers saying that they spend more time online than they do in-store.

What We Expect When Shopping Online

In general, online shoppers are less satisfied (64%) with customer service when shopping online, than they are when shopping in-store (73%).

Australian online shoppers expect quick service with 62% of shoppers expecting to access help within a five-minute time frame. Over half (54%) say they would give up immediately – or only try once if seeking help when making an online purchase.

The results of the survey clearly show that even with the growth in online sales, there is still even more opportunities to increase sales through better-designed websites and greater online customer support.

What Is Showrooming?

Showrooming is the latest trend of using a traditional brick and mortar store as a showroom to test the products before making purchases. People then generally make the purchase online as it is cheaper – sometimes even using their smartphone in-store to make the purchase! This is causing an outcry by traditional retail shops which is a little difficult to understand. This is due to manufacturers taking advantage of globalisation to source the cheapest parts and labour from around the world. However, retailers don’t want shoppers to do the same.

Lower Costs

Online retailers avoid the high costs of rent, taxes and labour so that even with the online transactions fees, international exchange rates and delivery costs, making purchases online is generally more economical than purchasing in a store.

Small items, such as books and clothing, are often cheaper and easier to purchase online as they have easy delivery services.

The boom in internet shopping has meant that traditional stores must provide better service in order to keep business. However, it is common for shop owners to cut staff when faced with declining sales. This immediately lowers the level of service.

Showrooming

Showrooming is growing, and according to analytics firm ForeSee Results, 70% of consumers use a mobile phone in a retail store to research online prices while shopping. This is supported by data from U.K.-based design agency Foolproof. They recently released a report that showed that 24% of British shoppers showroomed during the 2012 holiday season. 40% of that number bought from a competitor after comparing prices.

Retailers with brick-and-mortar locations are struggling with the showroom concept. They now have the need to entice people to make purchases in the store.

Some retailers have looked at innovative ways to cross-channel their marketing strategies to encourage customers into their stores and make purchases. By looking at current services and the opportunities to expand this retail area, businesses are working on encouraging both in-store and online customers.

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