Posted on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
A new report suggests that this year online shopping will make up as much as 6.3 per cent of total retail sales, as a growing number of Australians increasingly turn to online discount coupons and the internet.
The report was authored by professional services firm PwC and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. The Global Retail and Consumer Report estimates that as many as 9.6 million Australians aged 15 or over will purchase something online this year.
Many experts attribute the trend to a growing presence of online retailers. Other factors which explain it include more direct communication between retailers and shoppers, the expansion of product ranges, and a shift towards mobile commerce.
The report predicts that over the next five years the sectors that are likely to benefit the most from the trend include jewellery, clothing, footwear and fashion accessories.
PwC’s Stewart Harker said that Australian retailers must embrace the trend and if they haven’t already done so, roll out their platform online and if they already have an online presence, improve their services, which will enable them to take their business to the next level.
“Like retailers in the US and UK are doing, Australian retailers must fundamentally rethink their strategy, particularly in relation to their real estate and store portfolio.” Mr. Harker said
“The days of growing by simply opening more stores are long gone,” he added.
The report goes on to predict that online shopping sales in 2012 will exceed $16 billion amounting to roughly 6 per cent of the $253 billion Australians will spend on shopping during the year. This represents a 17.6 per cent annual growth rate for online shopping sales.
According to the report, 55 per cent of those polled said the main reason they have turned to the internet to shop is because of its lower prices compared to those available in physical stores. Another 15 per cent said the primary reason for online shopping was its convenience.
Another big trend is the shift to mobile, which is also driving online shopping in Australia. The report estimates that during the last twelve months, nearly 34 per cent of all online purchases were made using a mobile device, with 57 per cent of those polled saying their use of mobile devices for online shopping had increased over the last year.