20 AUGUST 2012: Telstra has today released research showing up to 89 per cent of online shoppers in certain sectors also purchase goods in-store, over a third of which doing so from the same retailer. It is expected the research could bring fresh hope to traditional retailers.
Interviews with more than 800 respondents across Australia has, for the first time locally, defined the behaviour of ‘omnishoppers’ – consumers researching and purchasing goods through a variety of channels like websites, mobile apps and traditional stores. Research shows the vast potential of the omnishopper in Australia, with more than a third of the respondents who bought both online and in-store over the past 12 months doing so from the same retailer. These findings demonstrate the importance of retailers having both a tradtional retail experience combined with a strong online capability available for modern shoppers.
“Australian omnishoppers indisputably exist today, driven by our adoption of the internet and popularity of mobile devices. It’s an enormous opportunity for retailers that, while two-thirds of people are using the internet to shop, they are also combining this with an in-store experience.
“69% of Australian online shoppers spend their money with Australian retailers – so the online dollars stay here in Australia – they’re not necessarily going overseas”, Gareth Jude, Retail Industry Executive, Telstra Enterprise and Government, said.
“We’ve found that each consumer spends on average more than $2,000 every year, and is increasingly looking for a blended online/offline experience. Australian retailers have to blend the price and convenience of online shopping with the sensory experience and customer service from physically being in a store.”
“We believe the key lessons to consider are that physical shopping no longer ends when the customer walks out of the door. The foundations of the customer experience are now built as much on technology as on physical displays, meaning retailers must carefully choose the technical platforms and partners they work with.”
The Telstra whitepaper, ‘How you can join the Omnichannel Shopper in transforming Australian retail’, finds:
- 66 per cent of Australians have used the Internet for shopping in the past year, with men spending approximately double the amount women do. The average online consumer spends $2,218 on e-commerce annually, with 69 per cent of online purchases from Australian-based sites.
- The online consumer is overwhelmingly an omnishopper, the most popular products being clothing and accessories with 89 per cent of online buyers also shopping in store. The least popular omnichannel product was airline tickets, though 31 per cent of online shoppers still bought flights ‘offline’.
- More than a third of the respondents that bought online and in-store in the last 12 months did so from the same retailer.
- Of social media users who researched products, 40 per cent reported that their last search had resulted in a purchase - some 28 per cent of which were offline purchases in a physical store.
- The concept of ‘showrooming’ – using a bricks and mortar store to try a product before buying online – is real, with 49 per cent of the respondents confirming they engaged in this behaviour. However, 24 per cent of those shoppers actually bought their goods online from the same retailer.
The whitepaper provides insights into how Australian retailers can grasp this opportunity. In particular, the importance of building bridges between the physical and the virtual worlds – through technologies like in-store Wi-Fi and digital media, or guaranteeing that online interactions work with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
“Both online and offline customer experiences are only as good as the infrastructures they are provided – whether that’s physical stores or online sites. To provide a seamless omnichannel experience, retailers need secure, reliable connectivity. The omnishopper opportunity makes this one of the most exciting times in history to be in retail for those skillful enough to grasp the opportunity”, Mr Jude concluded.
The Telstra ‘How you can join the Omnichannel Shopper in transforming Australian retail’ whitepaper is available at www.telstra.com.au/business-enterprise.