Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Australian shoppers are leveraging digital channels to make purchasing decisions even if the final sale is conducted in-store, a new report claims.
The new Australian Shopping Behaviour Report released by audience measurement technology vendor, Effective Measure, found that while local and international retailers have invested heavily in online platforms, final purchases are more likely to be executed in-store. Two-thirds of men and nearly three-quarters of women surveyed said they research products online but chose to buy in a store.
According to the survey, committed online shoppers, or those spending 80 per cent or more of their budget online, represented less than 15 per cent of total respondents. The majority of respondents across both sexes actually spend at least 50 per cent of their budget offline.
In total, the NAB Online retail Sales Index showed Australian spending $14.7 billion on online retail, the equivalent of 6.5 per cent of spending with traditional stores.
However, digital platforms are increasingly becoming the pointer to the destination of the final transaction. The report also claimed the two-stage shopping process being adopted by consumers today is pushing the competition for buyer engagement and brand exposure online, particularly for larger ticket items.
“While there is rising consumer confidence, budgets have remained under pressure and shoppers are using all the digital research tools available to extract the best value,” said Effective Measure’s regional managing director for Oceania, Dinesh Arasaratnam.
“Digital research has become an intrinsic part of the shopping process, as a discovery method, features and price comparison tool. The multi-layered shopping process means that brands that can engage with consumers online and resonate with their audience across key factors such as price, quality and availability, can eclipse competitors in the high street.”
The top five shopping sites visited by Australians during the month of January were amazon.com, followed by auspost.com.au, bigw.com.au, harveynorman.com.au and coles.com.au.
The Effective Measures dashboard was based on a survey of 1720 Australian consumers via Effective Measure's network during December 2013 and January 2014.