New research reveals that the Australian high street is not dead, after 63% of Australian shoppers stated they prefer an in-store shopping experience over online.
Research conducted by intelligence body Blis, surveyed 805 Australian consumers and found that consumers are willing to spend up to 85% more in a physical store than online.
The research also confirmed behaviour that many retailers have witnessed in-store; showrooming and webrooming. The study showed that 43% of consumers admit to showrooming - whereby they examine a product in-store before purchasing online - while 63% confessed to webrooming - whereby they research a product online before purchasing in-store.
Blis Australia and New Zealand MD Nick Ballard, said that while Australian consumers may prefer a tactile, in-store experience, many of them are fusing online and offline shopping together.
"The role of the physical store is as important as ever.
"The power of brick-and-mortar is in providing consumers with an immersive shopping experience, with over half of Aussies preferring to see, touch and feel the quality of the product before buying. Shopping online just doesn’t have that same hands-on experience.
"But despite this affection for the visceral and tactile joy of shopping at physical stores, technology and e-commerce have conditioned Australian consumers with new habits and expectations.
"Consumers do not see a delineation between online and offline shopping, rather the modern consumer journey fuses both worlds and it is imperative that brands and retailers do the same," he said.
59% of respondents also said that they use their phones in a physical store, with 74% saying they use it to compare prices online, 35% check for an online discount, 34% read reviews on the product, while 30% ask friends and family for opinions on their potential purchase.
The study also showed that out of home advertising is more powerful than some may think, with 37% of respondents indicating that they have visited a store to look for a product they have seen advertised outdoors, while four in five say they end up purchasing the advertised product.
"Brands looking to succeed in this climate must appeal to today’s shopper by offering a omni-channel experience that uses mobile as the bridge between digital and physical," Ballard said.
"Understanding consumer motivations, preferences and behaviours, and developing hyper-relevant content at the moments and locations that matter most to consumers is key."