With Australian consumers increasingly turning to online shopping, multiple stores have closed in recent years, with Toys ‘R’ Us, Gap, Esprit, and selected Target stores the casualties this year alone. Australians have become so used to these closures that a recent survey revealed 59 per cent of Aussie shoppers believe most of the industry will be online in the next two-to-five years.
The findings come from a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1021 Australians who made at least three online purchases in the last six months. Commissioned by leading parcel delivery service, CouriersPlease (CP), the survey sought to uncover what respondents think about the future of the retail industry and where it is headed.
Most of the survey respondents believe Australia’s retail industry is moving online. Three in four (75 per cent) believe Australia will see more closures of bricks-and-mortar-stores in the next two years. When asked if they think most of the industry will soon be online, 25 per cent believed it would, and 35 per cent believe this would happen in five years. Just 15 per cent of respondents did not think the retail industry would transition to online.
Respondents were also asked which types of products they would mostly purchase online. Books, DVDs and stationery topped the list, with 75 per cent of respondents happy to do most of their shopping in this category online. While this suggests that shoppers feel more confident purchasing lower-cost items online, Aussies have no trouble buying larger ticket items, with 59 per cent of respondents indicating they would happily buy technology products online.
However, there are some items online shoppers aren’t happy to purchase online. The majority (90 per cent) of respondents said they would not buy pets and animals from the internet, 77 per cent would not do most of their homewares and furniture shopping online, 73 per cent are not happy going online for jewellery, and 63 per cent aren’t happy doing most of their shopping tools, hardware and motor parts online.
The survey also revealed that more Millennials are happier to shop for fashion online than Baby Boomers: two in three (64 per cent) of 19-to-29-year-olds, compared with 25 per cent of Baby Boomers.
Jessica Ip, CP head of commercial and transformation, says: “With the industry shifting to online, an increasing number of retailers will need to continue improving a major e-commerce service: customer deliveries. At CP, we are constantly innovating our delivery solutions as a way to tailor our services to the needs of customers.
“The single biggest request we receive from online shoppers are flexible delivery choices. For this reason, we offer a network of 1,700-plus POPPoints nationally, including lockers, and retail outlets, enabling our customers to conveniently collect parcels seven days a week, close to home. We also provide other options to change your delivery if you won’t be at the original address – including redirecting to an alternate location and nominating your neighbour to accept it on your behalf.”