Australians are less interested in shopping online than consumers in similar countries, new research suggests, while the launch of global brands Down Under is unlikely to make Aussies stop buying local.
Around 3,000 adult consumers in Australia, the US and the UK were surveyed as part of the 2018 Omnichannel Buying Report, with some interesting findings suggesting that Aussie shoppers prefer supporting local businesses and doing so in-store.
More than half (57 per cent) of Australians polled suggested the presence of global retailers will change their position on buying locally.
Demonstrating the point is the findings on Amazon: despite the hype in the lead up to its launch in Australia last year, less than one in four (24 per cent) of Aussie shoppers have made a purchase with the online giant in the past six months.
And they are also spending less online than the Brits or Americans – with an average online spend of $670 each per month. That is almost half the $1,305 spent online by British shoppers and the $1,130 spent by those in the US.
But while Aussies are not spending as much online as consumers in other English-speaking markets do, that is not to say that we are abandoning e-commerce altogether.
Jordan Sim of BigCommerce, which produced the report, suggested that Australian shoppers have a more “nuanced” relationship between online and offline shopping.
“The Australian market is proving to be a unique beast compared to other markets, and retailers need to listen to how Australians are actually shopping today,” said Mr Sim.
“In Australia, we’re seeing a huge shift in the retail industry. Consumers are calling for the barriers between online and in-store shopping to be broken down as they seek a smoother shopping experience across platforms.
“Our hope is that these insights will provide retailers with the tools and knowledge they need to create shopping experiences that inspire customer loyalty and drive conversion.”
Part of the reason could be the concerns that Australians have about security online.
For instance, the Australian Cyber Security Centre revealed that free Wi-Fi hotspots have become a major windfall for online scammers, who have exploited weaknesses in the technology to fleece Australians of around $48 million.
Those losses, it said, are just in the first nine months of 2018.
Trust, not just in the technology but in the businesses themselves, is another likely factor, with Monash University Business School finding that bricks and mortar retailers rank much higher in the minds of consumers for trustworthiness than online retailers do.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.