Thursday, April 18, 2024

Return to office boosts in-store shopping, Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice’s latest Australian Shopper Preference Report reveals Australian workers are leading the back-to-office trend among global nations, with 71% saying they have returned to work at least part of the week.

“This has a noticeable impact on in-store shopping, as 55% of these consumers associate their return to the workplace with increased spending in brick-and-mortar stores, placing Australia second behind Canada.”

The research also unveils another trend: when queried about their spending habits, 51% of Australians say they spend more on in-store purchases, 27% declare they have no significant difference between online and in-store spending, and 24% state they spend more online.

Despite the growing importance of sustainable consumption, with three-quarters of Australians valuing sustainability commitments in brands, the cost-of-living crisis takes precedence in purchasing decisions. “This is evidenced by the fact that over two-thirds (69%) of Australians buy at least some of their clothes from fast-fashion retailers, surpassing all other surveyed countries in this regard.”

The report delves into consumer behaviour, highlighting their interactions with retailers and the channels through which they make purchases. “In a landscape where retailers are fiercely competing for consumer spending, grasping the underlying rationale of their audience is paramount, especially as Australians navigate the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.” The findings reveal a diverse spectrum of spending and shopping behaviours among Australians.

More than one in five (22%) of Australians make monthly purchases based on items they encounter on social platforms and this number jumps to 43% for consumers aged 24-34. Furthermore, half of Australians have bought a product after viewing a video of it on social media, underscoring the preference for video content in product discovery, favoured by 61% of consumers over still images (22%).

Other key Australian findings from the Shopper Preference Report include:

  • Brand loyalty – Quality (47%) surpasses price (44%) as the primary factor influencing brand loyalty among consumers. Brand values rank low on the list of considerations, with only 3% citing it as the main influencing factor. However, when selecting where to shop, 90% of Australian respondents consider a brand’s reputation for reliability and trustworthiness to impact their loyalty to some extent, with only 8% dismissing its significance entirely.
  • Second-hand shopping – A significant number of Australians are reluctant to purchase second-hand items, with 45% reporting they have never bought items from thrift stores, charity shops, marketplaces, or second-hand platforms like Vinted and Depop, marking the highest percentage among surveyed countries.
  • Online shopping devices – Nearly half of Australians (46%) predominantly use their smartphones to make online purchases, followed by laptops (34%), and tablets (7%), with a minority (12%) staying away from online purchases altogether.
  • Retail therapy – Australians top the global figures when feeling joy from “retail therapy”, with 24% engaging in it frequently. However, 15% of Australians cannot afford non-essential purchases currently, highlighting the strain faced by the current economic conditions.
  • Private labels – In the last six months, 60% of Australians have purchased private label products, with fashion (42%), food and beverages (66%), and health and beauty (33%) being the most common categories. Additionally, 43% of consumers have permanently switched some staple products to private-label alternatives, while 19% intend to do so in the future, indicating a growing preference for private-label goods.

Bazaarvoice Managing Director for APAC Kate Musgrove says, “This research underscores the ever-changing nature of Australians’ spending habits, which are influenced by a range of factors including financial, convenience, and personal preferences. It also highlights the importance for brands and retailers to maintain consistency and accessibility across various channels to effectively serve to these diverse consumer preferences. By aligning with shopper preferences and ensuring a seamless shopping experience, brands and retailers can ensure customers keep returning.”

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