Google’s research shows Aussies aren’t prioritising retailer loyalty

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By Published On: March 21, 20230 Comments

Google and The Behavioural Architects have found Australians are more loyal to the product brand they want, rather than where they get it from.

Research by Google Australia and The Behavioural Architects has found that Australians are more loyal to the product brand they want, rather than where they get it from. The research studied the online shopping journeys of more than 1000 consumers across five categories in Australia, to better understand how people decide where to buy things from, such as a retailer or store. It explored what has been termed ‘The Messy Middle’ — the decision making stage between a consumer’s first trigger to purchase, through to the purchase itself.

According to the research, Australian consumers are two times more likely to switch retailers than products with people more willing to change retailers than the products they want. When presented with their preferred and second choice retailer, almost 1 in 2 Australian consumers will switch to their second choice — yet only 1 in 4 switch to their second choice product brand. This is supported by Google Search insights, with more than 60 percent of retail searches in Australia and New Zealand for products or product brands, compared with retailers.

According to Google and The Behavioural Architects, the use of behavioural science principles that communicate value attributes beyond price can ‘significantly’ influence purchase decisions and help consumers see value beyond discounting.

The study considered five categories that influence decision making: reducing delivery friction, offering free ‘add-ons’, sharing positive customer reviews and experiences, reviews from product experts, and highlighting key product features in product listings.

It showed that applying just two of these behavioural science principles could be as compelling to consumers as offering a 10 percent discount.

“This Messy Middle research gives us a unique insight into the brand versus retailer relationship, and what this means for purchase decisions. It’s clear that product has a powerful position in the minds of Australian consumers,” said Renee Gamble, Managing Director at Google Australia. “With cost of living pressures in the background, people are re-evaluating not only the price tag, but also what value means to them more broadly.”

The report suggested different ways marketers and retailers could address the consumer preferences identified in the report with the advice that retailers need to maximise the digital availability of their products be present when consumers are exploring or looking to buy products. Marketers and retailers also need to consider how they can be compelling to anyone scanning past their product offer. Brands also need compelling ad creative – and AI-powered ad solutions to drive deep consumer connections at scale.

“Applying behavioural science principles can help consumers make better decisions, and have a strong impact on preference. Our research underscores how important it is that marketers understand these principles and know which will have the most impact on their customer’s shopping decisions,” Ms Gamble said.

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About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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