Telstra Report Endorses Brookes’ Statements: B&M On the Rise

Perhaps Myer‘s CEO Bernie Brookes hit the nail on the head, when he predicted last week that pureplay online retailers have had their day in the sun, and that it was the bricks-and-mortar retailers that will be soon returning to the retail limelight. His views are supported by new research from Telstra, which shows that Australian consumers that shop both on and offline, are often making the purchases from the same retailers.

The survey data was sourced from over 800 consumers Australia-wide and it contains a lot of statistics that should make Brookes and others like him very happy. The message behind the report is that Australian consumers are defined by the omnichannel shopping experience, and this should give bricks-and-mortar retailers a lot of hope, according to Telstra’s Retail Industry Executive, Gareth Jude.

“Australian omnishoppers indisputably exist today, driven by our adoption of the internet and popularity of mobile devices,” says Jude. “It’s an enormous opportunity for retailers that, while two-thirds of people are using the internet to shop, they are also combining this with an in-store experience.”

The research report is entitled, ‘How You Can Join the Omnichannel Shopper in Transforming Australian retail’ and it offers a snapshot of local shopping behaviour across the industry.

Key Highlights of the Report:

  • 66% of shoppers spend with local retailers
  • Up to 89% of online shoppers also shop in-store in some categories, with more than a third shopping with the same retailer
  • Men are spending more than double online, on average, than women
  • Apparel and footwear products were the most commonly purchased online

“What customers really want is not either a physical store or online – they want a blended experience where they can go home for hours online and then come to the store, try things on, and go back online and have things delivered to their office,” Jude says. “It’s only the bricks-and-mortar retailers that can give them that.”

Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the survey is the large gender discrepancy in online spending, with men spending double than women, on average.

“We think it’s related to income – there is a huge correlation between income and online spend and men still have higher incomes than women so we think there’s a relationship – but we need to do more work on that,” says Jude.

This would also certainly explain the fact that men are being targeted more and more frequently by e-commerce websites.


6 thoughts on “Telstra Report Endorses Brookes’ Statements: B&M On the Rise

    • Andrew
    • 20th August

    I’m afraid none of those stats pass the “so what” test for me.
    Retail, and online retail in particular, is more about share of wallet than number of customers.

    • Dave
    • 22nd August

    “The survey data was sourced from over 800 consumers Australia-wide” – not exactly what I would call robust data.

    • Baz
    • 22nd August

    This article is as as useful as Brookes’ knowledge of the online space. Fact is the GST alone is contributing to more over 60000 job losses over the next 2 years in retail. Online is here to stay and shopping centres and their high margins and rents will soon be occupied only by food and experience outlets and car parking. And since when is Telstra good at anything statistical anyways. Mr Brookes needs to change or his business will die like Nokia who also refused to change.

    • Tony
    • 22nd August

    Baz, 60000 job losses just due to the GST alone eh?
    I guess you must be the head of a huge market research organisation to be able to claim that figure as a fact with quoting a source.

    Pardon me if I sound a little skeptical- not just on your figures, but also those of our favorite telco and department store

  1. B&M retailers can’t regain something they haven’t lost. Online retail is still (according to NAB) only 5% of retail sales but could be a bit higher, so online retail still has a long way to go before it out strips B&M stores in share of retail revenue.

    The retail slump has been due to general economic conditions and consumer confidence. Its hard to go on a spending spree when the news is full of companies shedding hundreds or thousands of workers. If Myer want to regain some market share then having a few more staff in their stores to serve customers would probably be a good place to start.

  2. I completely agree that a lot of shoppers want a blended experience – not just one or the other. A Lot of customers want to be able to research online, go to a store and touch, feel and play with product and some will either make their purchase in a store, while some will go home, think about it and purchase online from whomever had the best price. This applies more to bigger ticket items of course.

    It is therefore important that the in store and online experience are both second to none.

    If a retailer gets both of these opportunities to engage the customer right – they have two chances and getting the customers business and conversion rates will rise.

    It’s the B & M Retailers who have been fighting with selling online who have been losing market share – they don’t have a second chance with the customer who leaves their stores to go home and have a think about it and an online retailer picks up the business from them.

    Bottom line – you need both in any retail business that sells bigger ticket items.


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