Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Shoppers search ‘bricks and clicks’ to save at the checkout

Australians are finding new ways to save as cost-of-living pressures continue to bite, according to new data from Amazon Australia’s ‘Retail Trends’ report. The report found almost two-thirds (62.5%)[1] of Aussies are comparing in-store and online to find the best value for money as cost pressures increase. “The report shows this is clearly impacting how Australian retailers interact with their customers, with almost 85% of consumers expressing concerns about inflation.”

The research, which was produced by leading data and analytics company, GlobalData, highlighted the blurred lines of bricks and mortar and the online experience. “This trend towards ‘omnichannel retail’ or ‘bricks and clicks’ is when a customer uses more than one channel in a single shopping journey. For example, a customer may buy online and collect a product from a store.”

“We’re seeing that as cost pressures hit home, Australians are increasingly responding by shopping online and offline in search of value and convenience,” says Amazon Australia Country Manager Janet Menzies.

“For example, half of all Australians are browsing products online before going in-store to purchase them, while a similar percentage are looking at online reviews and comparison sites before buying in-store.

“This trend represents an opportunity for retailers of all sizes to innovate and meet customer needs through omnichannel experiences in everything from personalisation to click and collect. For Amazon, this research is important because we are relentlessly focused on customers and how we can be part of the solution to household cost pressures, while also empowering local businesses to expand their omnichannel presence,” Ms Menzies said.

According to GlobalData Managing Director Neil Saunders, the research shows that omnichannel retail spend has increased 47.8% since 2019. It also projects that this trend will continue as brands invest in integrated strategies to meet consumer demand for hybrid, seamless shopping journeys both in-store and online.

“As we move beyond the online retail ‘spike’ from the pandemic, Australians have embraced a return to in-store shopping, and this remains the predominant channel to buy products. But in the current economic environment, online is a major driver of value across the whole retail sector, for example through price comparison and reviews,” Mr Saunders said.

“Omnichannel retail could unlock significant opportunities for both customers and retailers from a price, product, and customer experience perspective. Price and product are key, but experience is king as shoppers are increasingly looking for options when buying the goods they want and need. Retailers have expanded their online presence to allow shoppers to browse anytime and anywhere, while maintaining a physical presence that allows buyers to choose how and when they get their purchases. It means customers who need their purchases instantly can click and collect or shop in store, or they can shop online and have products delivered conveniently to their front door,” he said.

Australian pharmaceutical company Soodox has used omnichannel retailing to expand its presence, selling products through a network of Australian stores, including an independent grocer, in addition to its own website and Amazon storefront.

“We started with sales through brick-and-mortar stores, including an independent grocer, which allowed our customers to get our products when they needed them most. We then expanded to online channels to offer even more variety and convenience to our customers. If they’re in discomfort that prevents them from wanting to leave the house, they can have the product delivered to their door and they can shop at any time of the day or night. When it comes to pain, we know that one hour can make the world of difference,” says Soodox Business Development Manager Armin Safaie.

“As a company in the business of pain relief, our priority is ensuring our products are available for our customers in the right place, at the right time when they need it most. Using online channels for our products has allowed us to reach more customers and increase recognition of our brand overall, which has led to more sales both in store and online. For us, it’s not about one channel being more important than the other. We have seen both channels grow, and our integrated approach has only increased our sales overall.

“We have found that our enhanced brand recognition has seen our brick-and-mortar sales grow by 270 per cent over the past two years, and our online channels allow us to serve more customers in the way they prefer,” he said.

[1] GlobalData conducted a nationally representative survey of 1,500 Australian consumers in July 2023.

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