As Online Business Goes Up, Retailers Need to Step Their Game Up

The good news is that more Australians are more inclined to spend their hard-earned money on online shopping. Based on IBM’s 2015 Global Smarter Consumer Study that surveyed 1,800 Australians about their online consumer habits, confidence in e-commerce has grown by 25%. 20% of those surveyed related that their last purchase happened online. Compared to the previous year’s 15%, this further strengthens the idea of e-commerce’s continuous growth.

With those said, the challenge is now for online retailers to step their game up. The study also shows that while online spending is experiencing a surge, engagement and brand loyalty has seen a dip. In fact, brand advocacy in Australia is lower than the global average. The data reveals that brand loyalty has declined from last year’s 13% to this year’s 10%. The number of unengaged customers has also risen from 24% to 37%. All of these are caused by the lack of personalized online services.

Paul Greenberg, executive chairman of the National Online Retailers Association, explained that the data seemed to build on what has been the trending in retail for the last ten years.

“It makes sense customers are getting more confident online but they’re also more savvy and expecting a very good experience. Customers want a quick shopping experience, we’re getting busier. Everything’s got to be quick and easy,” says Greenberg.

But Greenberg says the findings from the study also indicate an “enormous opportunity” for retail to meet customers’ needs now and into the future. “Retail is a service business, and we have to serve the customer where they want to be served. For customers asking for it now, the key is for retailers to be ahead of the ball. At the moment, my sense is we’re making great strides. I’m optimistic were catching up with the customer,” he says.


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