A new report from market research firm Colmar Brunton warns that Australian retailers must embrace online shopping to have continued success.

Colmar Brunton’s research found that Australian consumers are frustrated with the limited online shopping options from national retailers, forcing more than half to choose to spend their money offshore with global competitors. With an Australian dollar continuing to lurk around parity with the US dollar, the temptation for Australians to look overseas online is greater than ever.

2 in 5 respondents also said they believed Australia was behind the rest of the world for online shopping, and with 40 percent of Australians now conducting a significant amount of their shopping in the digital world, it’s probably time Australia caught up.

“Many Australian retailers stayed away from online following the dotcom crash, while global competitors spotted opportunities. We’re now playing catch-up,” says Dr Steve Nuttall, managing director of Colmar Brunton Sydney.

“This is no longer about competing just on our turf. Global retailers are penetrating our borders without building a single store here,” he says. “Australian retailers have had a view that the name of the game is bricks and mortar, but while they have been focusing on this, other e-tailers are focusing on building trust with consumers. It’s not just about being price-competitive. Choice and convenience are huge drivers for consumers.”

Intriguingly, the research also found that consumers now expect all retailers to offer online shopping offers, and assume the service exists even when it doesn’t. More than a quarter of consumers surveyed believed that they could buy online from Harvey Norman, when the store has never offered an online shopping cart.

Consumer reasons for moving online for shopping

  • 85 percent of consumers say they shop online purely because of convenience.
  • 49 percent cited it also allowed them to avoid parking, traffic and shopping queues, which come with Christmas shopping experience.
  • 66 percent of consumers think you usually get a better deal online, and
  • 54 percent believe there is greater choice online compared to in-store
     

Biggest barriers stopping people from spending more of their money online

  • 86 percent saying they will only shop from trusted websites
  • 57 percent concerned about product quality
  • 55 percent saying it is hard to get a refund.