‘Poor online experiences’ damaging Aussie retail

Poor customer carting and checkout experiences are deterring Aussie shoppers from using mobile phones to complete their purchases, says Bazaarvoice.

It says its new research shows a clear need for Australian retailers to improve their mobile shopping capability through:

  • Authentic content
  • Better “discoverability” (eg, through search engines)
  • Easier paths to purchase.

Only then, says Bazaarvoice, will retailers maximise their slice of the retail spending pie, worth an estimated $310 billion yearly.

The research surveyed more than 1,300 Australians nationwide on their shopping habits and preferences.

It found that poor mobile-shopping platforms are the greatest bugbear for those trying to use their mobile for internet shopping. In fact, almost one third (32 per cent) of shoppers surveyed said navigating the purchasing steps of online retailers is “off-putting” on a mobile device.

Australia ‘lagging behind’

Bazaarvoice Managing Director APAC Kate Mugsrove says there’s scope for newer and more established retailers to learn from each other.

“Newer brands are starting off their businesses with their mobile and desktop experiences already optimised,” she said. “This contrasts with more established brands, who are just starting to delve into online experiences, or are using out-of-date solutions, and are experimenting with purchasing paths. This may be causing grief for customers.

“Australian brands and retailers are lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of their adaptive online experiences. So, for us to catch up, retailers and brands need to get the omnichannel experience right. An important differentiator for retailers is being able to offer authentic content, such as user-generated product reviews.”

Online shopping growing – including grocery

Now for the good news. The research found that a large proportion of Aussies are shopping online every month. In fact, only seven per cent of Australian shoppers overall completely shun the internet in favour of bricks-and-mortar retailers. This figure increases to 14 per cent among over 65s and falls to three per cent among those under 25.

The study also found that 27 per cent of Australian shoppers are planning to spend more during 2019 than they did in 2018.

Grocery emerged as the number-one category of shopping where respondents anticipated the greatest amount of spending. Almost half (49 per cent) stated that this is where they’ll probably spend most of their dollars this year.

Ms Musgrove concluded: “Retailers need to ensure that their online and purchasing experiences are optimised … to help ensure that the shopper experience is a positive one.”

Bazaarvoice describes itself as “one of the world’s leading providers of online ratings and reviews solutions”.

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