More Australians Turning to Overseas Online Retailers

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By: Shannon Ingrey, Bronto Software

Research from Bronto Software indicates there is a sizeable cross-border shopper market, totalling nearly 20 million local consumers every week. The findings from the survey of 1,000 Australians indicated an outflow of potential retail dollars that could have otherwise stayed within the Australian e-commerce economy.

According to the survey, almost all Australian consumers (93 percent) are open to cross-border shopping today, with nearly 72 percent already purchasing from overseas online retailers.

Cross-border shopping is clearly a well-entrenched behaviour amongst Aussies, but the trend also holds true for international consumers looking to purchase from Australian online retailers. As a first step to unlocking this market potential, an outbound marketing effort, combined with an analysis of website data, will assist retailers with defining and determining the benefits and costs of entering those markets.

Australian retailers are no longer merely competing at a domestic level, but rather on a global stage. With more international retailers like Amazon eyeing Australian shores.

To remain competitive, it is imperative that domestic e-retailers truly understand their audience and the drivers behind their shopping behaviour, to develop more targeted and personalised strategies.

Of those purchasing internationally, over a third (35 percent) had done so in the last week, 27 percent in the last month, 17 percent in the last three months, and 21 percent within the past year.

Better prices and unique merchandise were the top two reasons driving Australian consumers to turn to overseas online retailers.

On the flipside, shipping costs was identified as the single biggest barrier to cross-border online shopping, as indicated by three-fourths of Australians who have not yet made a purchase. This was followed by a lack of trust in online payment methods, security concerns and prolonged delivery times.

Interestingly, Australian men are more likely to have purchased from overseas retailers compared to women, with 74 percent of male respondents and 69 percent of females indicating so. The findings suggest key areas of opportunities domestic retailers can potentially draw on to have a leg up on their overseas counterparts.

The first and most crucial step is to focus on why consumers stray and work towards addressing them, as the findings suggest, that’s better pricing and unique merchandise. Retailers should also look to exploit the advantages of the home territory. To do so, ensure that all aspects of the transaction that impede cross-border shopping, such as shipping costs, delivery time and data security, are clearly addressed early on in the purchase journey.

Top overseas source markets for Australian consumers

English speaking countries topped the list of source markets considered by Australian online shopper, 79 percent are open to purchasing from the United States, 71 percent from the United Kingdom and 46 percent from Canada. Yet, the findings indicate that most countries are failing to tap into that market potential, with China being the only nation currently maximising the opportunities in Australia.

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