Digital shopping is still on the rise in the ANZ region, with 85% of Australians and New Zealanders now shopping online.

This is according to a new CitiXsys report, ‘The Era of Unlimited Shopping Possibilities’, based on a survey conducted in October 2015 with Australian and New Zealand shoppers.

Some 52% of Australians and 47% of New Zealanders find shopping online more convenient than in-store, with 40% and 37% respectively already using ‘Click and Collect’ options.

The research piece also shows that all channels are now more interdependent than ever.

According to the survey:

  • 63% of Australians research a product once or more online before buying it in-store (71% for New Zealand)
  • 56% of Australians and 59% of New Zealanders like being able to shop with the same retailer via multiple channels
  • 56% and 61% respectively choose a channel – online, mobile, or in-store - based on convenience

However, retailers are lagging behind shoppers’ expectations.

Retail Doctor Group founder Brian Walker believes there is still work to be done by local vendors.

"Although things have evolved in recent years, retailers in the ANZ region are still trailing their American and European counterparts when it comes to providing a seamless shopping experience that includes both online and in-store channels.

“Brick and mortar stores still represent the vast majority of retail transactions.

"The research from CitiXsys shows the importance of combining a strong physical store presence seamlessly with an online and digital presence.

"Only by implementing omnichannel strategies will retailers provide shoppers with a fully integrated shopping journey, which is what they increasingly expect from brands."

Disappointments of the omni-shopper in a non-omnichannel world

  • 29% of Australians and 34% of New Zealanders think they are more likely to have a disappointing experience online than in-store
  • 21% of Australian and 31% of New Zealand shoppers would like stores to know more about how they shop online, and use that to improve their customer service in-store
  • Only 30% of ANZ shoppers feel equally rewarded, whether they shop online or in-store

The traditional store is also in the hot seat, and needs to embrace digitisation

  • ANZ shoppers believe free Wi-Fi and in-store kiosks/digital help desks would improve their in-store shopping experience (44% of Australians and 51% of New Zealanders for free Wi-Fi, and 38% and 37% respectively for kiosks and digital help desks)
  • 39% of 18-34 year old Australians want loyalty offers sent directly to their phone when they walk in a store, while this is the case for 31% of Kiwis, irrespective of age

Walker said embracing an omnichannel strategy is no longer an option in the current marketplace.

"It has now become vital in order to compete with rising competition from international entrants who are gaining market share in ANZ."

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