New research from ShopFully and Nielsen ‘Understanding the Role of Catalogues, Omni Channel Experience & Proximity Marketing in Consumer Path to Purchase’ reveals budget-conscious consumers are planning their trips online before hitting stores to catch the best deals.
The number of Australian shoppers reading catalogues to find promotions and secure deals has increased to 68% (5pp up from 2021), according to new research from ShopFully and Nielsen Media Analytics.
The commissioned study into Aussie consumers’ path to purchase highlights that shoppers are taking the time to plan shopping trips, with 57% of those surveyed stating internet search is their top source of information, closely followed by digital catalogues (46%). Catalogues are a must-have for retailers looking to drive customers into store, with 45% of readers using them to plan and organise shopping lists ahead of time, and 44% doing so down to the specific store they intend to visit.
ShopFully’s Country Manager of Australia Dean Vocisano says the research highlights a changing consumer demand that favours time and money put back into the pockets of Australian families.
“Aussies are feeling the pinch after another turbulent year. Our research reveals they’re warier than ever in their spending habits and are taking the time to meticulously plan their shopping lists to streamline purchasing and alleviate increased financial stresses,” he said.
“Here, catalogues continue to be a go-to for three-quarters (75%) of the nation when they’re deciding what to purchase, with readers spending 8.3 minutes per week browsing retailers’ specials. Interestingly, Gen Z and Millennials are turning to digital catalogues the most, reading them 2.8 and 2.6 times per week respectively, which dispels any generational stereotypes about consumption and perhaps reflects just how much they’re feeling the effects of the rising cost of living.”
Catalogue consumption continues to shift towards digital
The shift towards digital catalogue consumption has continued year on year, with 44% of Australian consumers who use digital catalogues reporting an increase in their readership, and 66% people perusing them at least once a week. Almost nine in 10 (87%) of Aussies who increased their digital catalogue usage plan to continue reading them moving forward.
Aussie consumers are spending 15% more time reading digital catalogues over printed formats—a statistic set to continue rising as 44% of paper catalogue readers report a decrease in usage. Consumers who made the switch from paper identified convenience (48%) and environmental friendliness (42%) as their top reasons for preferring digital formats.
Digital driving consumer confidence and traffic in-store
Four in five (79%) Aussie consumers stated they use digital platforms such as retailer/brand catalogues, Internet search, online reviews and social media to plan store visits. Across the categories of grocery, electronics, department stores, and health and beauty, Australian shoppers confirmed digital catalogues as their number one source of information when deciding what product to buy. Digital catalogues were also identified as the most effective medium to drive consumers into physical stores and convert the final purchase.
Over 69% of Aussies believe it is essential for retailers to have an online presence and a physical store, indicating that pandemic restrictions have not caused a permanent shift in shopping behaviours. For a single purchase, 71% of shoppers are combining both online and physical channels.
Bricks-and-mortar retailers are here to stay with 98% of consumers making in-store purchases, and 55% of Aussies perceive online brands and retailers as more trustworthy if they have a physical storefront nearby.
Consumers happy to receive personalised notifications
Around one-third of those surveyed said they are happy to receive proximity marketing notifications that land them a good bargain (35%) or save time usually spent searching for deals (32%). In fact, 39% of Aussies said they always or sometimes visit a store they are close to after receiving a prompt or notification from a brand, retailer or catalogue app. Personalised emails are just as effective for 40% of customers.
“It’s clear that Aussies are using their smartphones to interact with retailers, making the digital and in-store shopping experience more intertwined than ever. Consumers still value physical shopping, calling for Australian retailers to capitalise on technology that encourages shoppers to head in-store,” Mr Vocisano said.