Omni-channel retailing, the high Aussie dollar, and the work of the fashion industry are all combining to see online shopping continue to grow, predicted to account for nearly 10% of Australia’s total retail sales by 2017.
A recent report and survey of 1000 people in Australia and New Zealand by Frost & Sullivan has found Australians spend an average of $1,750 on online shopping each year, and before the year is out, we’re expected to have spent a total of $18.3 billion.
Online sales as a percentage of total retail purchases are predicted to increase from 7.0% in 2013 to 9.8% by 2017 making for a compound annual growth rate of 13.1%.
The increase is thanks in no small part to the fashion industry as major international retailers such as ASOS and Macy’s expand their delivery to Australia, while more local retailers jump into the market expanding the universe of online retail.
Phil Harpur, senior research manager, Australia & New Zealand ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, said 79% of Australians who shop online currently purchase from overseas sites while an estimated 45% of Australian online expenditure goes to overseas-based web-sites.
“However over the past two years the proportion of online shoppers in Australia shopping on local sites only increased from 21% in 2011 to 25% in 2012 and 29% in 2013. Large local retail chains such as Harvey Norman, Myer and David Jones have been improving and expanding their online offerings and this has raised the overall range of goods and services available locally.”
Forward-thinking Aussie retailers are establishing themselves as omni-channel providers – now somewhat of an expectation of consumers according to the report – that sees the online and physical shops support one another using digital marketing through social media, comparison sites, review sites and emails.
Harpur says that as the concept of omni-channel retailing grows, online retailing will be regarded as an integral part of the overall shopping experience.
And with the opportunity we have to buy on the go, 30% of internet users between 15 and 65 have made a purchase on their smartphone over the last 12 months and 19% via a tablet.
Read B&T's in-depth report on retail moving online through this link.