As Australian retailers continue to expand and improve their e-commerce service offerings, Aussies are becoming more confident in online shopping. However, new research has revealed further major improvements need to be made before consumers make the switch to shopping exclusively online.
Parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP) commissioned a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1021 Australians who shopped at least three times in the last six months, to gauge what improvements retailers would need to make to attract consumers online rather than in store.
These improvements ranged from flexible delivery options to better return policies and sizing guides.
Three in four survey respondents (74 per cent) indicated they would expect retailers to offer free returns on all items to entice them to shop exclusively online. Some 65 per cent of shoppers believe retailers should also allow customers to return or swap any item, including sale items.
Many retailers still enforce the ‘no returns on sale items’ policy and don’t provide refunds for faulty items the retailer has already highlighted.
Further online shopping improvements that consumers want include better sizing guides and clearer product images on websites (both chosen by 57 per cent of respondents), and more flexible delivery options (44 per cent of respondents).
Surprisingly, only six per cent of Aussies are completely content with their online retail experience and believe nothing needs to change.
Fewer shoppers are concerned about online security and the need for better payment options – 33 and 24 per cent of shopper respondents, respectively, chose these options as a required improvement.
CP chief executive Mark McGinley said: “With more Aussies willing to take their shopping online, it’s important that retailers listen to their feedback and find ways to further enhance their e-commerce experience.
“Retailers need to make improvements which allows customers to comfortably complete their purchases online with the reassurance that they’re getting the same service and experience as they would in store – this may mean better sizing guides or the ability to return or exchange an item if it isn’t what they expected.
“We believe a large part of the online shopping experience is flexible delivery options.”