Report: Australian retailers lagging on mobile

phone, iphone, mobile, mcommerce, Australian retailers are still yet to fully capitalise on mobile, click and collect, and the use of the video, according to one industry expert following the release of a new consumer research study.

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According to Oracle’s Australian research report, Retail Without Limits – A Modern Commercial Society, 76 per cent of Australian respondents say it is important for retailers to adopt new technologies to make their shopping experiences more convenient and 54 per cent want a converged retail experience. Over the last 12 months, 60 per cent of consumers surveyed used mobile more, and 59 per cent shopped online from home more. A further 48 per cent, the highest global figure, used tablets more to shop, and 43 per cent, on par with the global average, used apps more, either in the store or on the go.

Bill Kearney, senior director retail, Oracle, told Inside Retail PREMIUM that despite the growing take up of mobile and tablets in Australia, many retailers in Australia are still yet to adopt a complete mobile experience that incorporates functions such as navigation through store and search-ability of product.

“Mobile is going to become increasingly important when you look at the traffic that’s out there and the amount of searching and activity that’s currently happening on a mobile device,” Kearney said. “The mobile experience for shopping in Australia is not all the way to scratch yet, but there’s a real opportunity there and the people that get there first will be the ones that are going to excel.”

Price still remains the main driver of loyalty in Australia for consumers, according to the report, with 79 per cent of Australians influenced by cost, nine points higher than the global average of 70 per cent. In comparison, 53 per cent of respondents said that were likely to be more loyal if a store was local and convenient (in comparison to a global average of 40 per cent).

“Convenience is not just physical locations. It’s how do I get in and out? How do I interact when I’m in the store with sales staff? And, how fast is it for me to check out and get out of the store and get on with my day? They’re all factors of convenience that become very relevant to an experience. Click and collect is also one of those factors. Click and collect is a trend that’s starting to build at the moment, but hasn’t really hit home just yet.”

The importance of price was highlighted further in the study, with it being the primary attribute of shopper’s favourite retailers (63 per cent). Price is also driving consumers offshore, with 67 per cent purchasing goods from an international retailer (versus 56 per cent globally), while 77 per cent admitted to buying overseas due to a better price (compared to 67 per cent globally).

Bucking the trend

Australians did buck the global trend, however, when it came to buying instore versus online, with 69 per cent (the highest figure globally) preferring to make purchases in store. Australians also use stores more frequently, with 27 per cent shopping instore several times a week, compared to 22 per cent globally; and 31 per cent of Australians visit the store for their weekly shop, compared to 27 per cent globally.

“What this statistic really begs the question of is, how much research are they doing before they get to the store?” Kearney. “What kind of research are they doing? Are they coming to the store to showroom or verify a price? Or are they coming to the store to make a purchase with you?”

In contrast, only 19 per cent (the lowest figure globally) prefer to buy online and have goods delivered, with nine per cent of respondents confirming that they make a purchase online several times a week and 10 per cent once a week. Global responses were fractionally higher at 15 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.

Kearney said the use of RFID and video are two other trends starting to gain further momentum in Australia, with 32 per cent incentivised to purchase if they have seen a video promotion.

“The use of video online and use of video instore is another trend that we’ll see continuing on. Also, being able to track and trace when the product is in the store through RFID. I don’t think there’s a lot of people doing that at a localised level yet.”



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