Aussie Online Shopping Expectations are Rapidly Changing

Power Retail By Power Retail | 19 Jan 2021

Australian online shoppers want retailers to lift their game and meet new expectations if they want to continue shopping with them, a new report has found.

Australians who did their Christmas shopping online are expecting brands to offer free returns and free delivery, making it a standard practice among e-commerce retailers.

In a new study from Emarsys, 16.4 percent of Aussie shoppers said they would be turned off by a brand that doesn’t offer free returns and is the driving factor for not making a purchase. A further 14 percent said they would avoid shopping with a retailer that didn’t offer free deliveries, saying it would be their biggest deal-breaker.

While this is not surprising to retailers, it’s important that these factors will continue to increase in popularity alongside the growth of online shopping.

The report also found that long delivery windows are a ‘critical’ turn off for customers, with 9.4 percent of shoppers saying they would not purchase online if the delivery time frame was more than three days.

The online shopping industry has grown exponentially in the last 12 months, with the pandemic as a driving factor. ABS figures show that online sales in November were a whopping $3.6 billion, up from $2.1 billion in the same period in 2019 – this now accounts for 11 percent of total retail spend.

Moreover, Australia Post reported a record-breaking Christmas, with more than 52 million parcels delivered over the holiday period, making it the biggest month in its history. This is a 20 percent increase from 2019.

Interestingly, 9.4 percent of Australian shoppers said they would not shop with a brand if they didn’t have an online presence. This is a sentiment rapidly growing with consumers and has many benefits for the retailer and consumer alike. Having an online presence can help improve trust levels for the brand, and help reach a wide range of potential consumers. In 2021, especially in a post-pandemic world, having an online presence is one of the most important platforms for a retailer.

The pandemic has accelerated consumer expectations regarding e-commerce. Following the pandemic, one in five consumers now says that they care more having a good about customer service experience online, and may be driven away if a retailer doesn’t offer a selection of payment options and plans.

The report found that 4.8 percent of shoppers would be driven away from a purchase if the retailer didn’t offer BNL or other payment plans. A further 4.7 percent said they would avoid shopping with a retailer if there was no Click & Collect option available.

“As our research demonstrates, a poor delivery and returns experience has become a major deal-breaker for most Aussie consumers. And the importance of the delivery experience will continue to rise as online shopping becomes more popular than ever,” explained Adam Ioakim, the Managing Director APAC of Emarsys.

“Customers want to see, feel and feel comfortable with their purchase, and sometimes it’s not what they expect. Therefore, brands should see returns as an opportunity to better understand their customers and further improve both the in-store and online experience.”

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