The 2012 Smarter Consumer Study has revealed some interesting statistics about online shopping- and retail in general – in Australia. Tracking the evolution of what we have come to refer to as the “empowered consumer”, the study shows Australians are largely ambivalent about the financial outlook and are becoming increasingly careful about where – and on what – they spend their money.
In terms of ecommerce website design, the study throws up several interesting points that warrant further consideration – both by those looking to launch and run a successful ecommerce website or online store and those in the industry whose task it is to design and develop these sites to be the best they can be.
Australian consumers are leading the world in the shift from traditional bricks and mortar retail to online shopping. Seventeen per cent of us say we are happy to use three forms of technology to help us navigate through the browsing and buying process. What’s even more interesting is that almost all Australians (90% of us, in fact), feel that social networking websites help them to make quicker, more informed decisions when it comes to buying products or services online.
But it’s important not to read the figures wrong. Although Australia leads the world in the move to ecommerce, traditional – or offline – business still forms an important part of the consumer culture here.
We still very much value what’s called the “touch and feel” element of the retail experience. Choice, comparison, and convenience may make online retail the preferred way to browse and buy for many. But trust is still a determining factor in the majority of consumer decisions.
The brands and business who truly succeed – both online and offline – are those who understand the value of trust to their customers. Those who can consistently deliver a positive, personalised buying experience stand the best chance of making a good impact on their market and developing loyalty within their audience.
And those who can offer that experience across multiple channels – both online and offline, through mobile, online and in-store – are the ones who will make the most progress in the long-term. It’s this cross-channel retail which is the best way to ensure a business remains dynamic and able to connect with customers on every level.
Trust and loyalty – both old values relevant to consumers and retailers for generations – remain important in this digital age. Whether you’re online or offline, keeping the customer happy remains central to retail success.
Source – PR wire
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