Retailers predict big growth from changing shopper behaviour

Australians are shopping online less frequently, but spending more per sale, with the average transaction value up 14 per cent year on year according to the inaugural ‘CommBank Retail Insights’ report.

The report also finds consumers remain highly selective and loyal, with more than 90 per cent of online shoppers transacting with just three or fewer brands each quarter, and two-thirds of customers shopping online for just one category of goods.

‘CommBank Retail Insights’ combines an in-depth survey of more than 500 retailers in Australia, with an analysis of around $3 billion in transaction data from CommBank credit cards covering 10 major online retail categories.

Following a 14 per cent increase in total online spending in the 12 months to March 31, 2015, the research reveals that retailers expect a 20 per cent increase in online sales over the next 12 months. When looking specifically at the proportion of sales conducted through mobile devices, retailers expect this to double over the same period.

Food and liquor remains a largely brick and mortar business, with more than 40 per cent of retailers yet to sell online. The sector also has one of the lowest rates of mobile sales, with just 14 per cent of online sales made via mobile. Retailers in this sector expect to generate 31 per cent of sales online by 2020.

Among food and liquor businesses that have moved online, channel team integration is comparatively high. These businesses are also more confident than any other sector about their ability to action insights from data analytics, perhaps reflecting an effective use of loyalty programs and targeted promotions.

Social media is a high investment priority for the sector (51 per cent), along with loyalty programs (36 per cent) and personalisation (31 per cent).

Commonwealth Bank National Manager – Retail Industry Jerry Macey says the research shows the time is ripe for retailers to capitalise on changing consumer preferences for online purchasing.

“The shift to online shopping is supporting confidence in the retail sector,” he said. “Retailers are responding by maintaining or boosting investment in technology and introducing new digital channels to capture substantial expected sales growth.”

 

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