According to the latest research into Aussie shopping habits, marketplaces aren’t as popular as you might think, cross-border commerce is changing and Australians are peeved over shipping costs.
Pitney Bowes has released the findings of its global e-commerce study, revealing a number of interesting facts about how Australian consumers behave online.
According to the study, 55 percent of shoppers would rather make a purchase directly from an e-commerce site, while 45 percent favour marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. Interestingly enough, Australia is only one of two countries in the world where this trend has been recorded; the other is South Korea.
The popularity of online shopping has also increased over the last 12-months, with 92 percent of people now making online purchases. The frequency of shopping is also on the rise, as 24 percent of people reportedly buy something online on a daily or weekly basis, up from 23 percent last year.
Brands continue to have an impact on consumers’ purchase behaviour, with 64 percent of Australians being conscious of brand names, while 36 percent of people already know the specific product they would like to purchase, or are just browsing.
Image credit: Pitney Bowes.
According to the CIO of Cue Clothing
, Shane Lenton, Australians’ preference towards online retailers over marketplaces and for branded products gives e-tailers a competitive advantage.
“As retailers, we need to work to our strengths and capitalise where there is a competitive advantage. Cue achieves this with our endless aisle store-to-door delivery, championing our new 30-minute click & collect and three-hour delivery service from stores. This is reflective of the growing demand to create a seamless buying experience for the shopper regardless of where they shop,” he said.
Pitney Bowes has also recorded some interesting findings in cross-border commerce and shipping expectations
, noting that parcel tracking and shipping costs are two big factors that influence a shopper’s likelihood to finalise a purchase.
Cross-Border Commerce Findings
Last year, 88 percent of Australians made a purchase from overseas. This year, only 81 percent did. This drop in cross-border purchases has been recorded across the globe, with Canada and the UK experiencing the biggest drop. In 2017, 70 percent of consumers were making cross-border purchases. Now, only 64 percent do.
Despite lower rates of cross-border commerce compared to previous years, those that do shop overseas are doing it more often, which is something Cue is looking to learn from. According to Lenton, a purchase is only a fraction of a customer’s overall experience – delivery, returns, tracking and localised payment options should also be taken into consideration.
“Cue ensures the best experience and seamless cross-border transactions… Cue is currently driving 15 percent of cross-border business from US, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and other Middle Eastern countries,” Lenton said.
When it comes to cross-border commerce, clothing, footwear and accessories is the most shopped category, and Aussie retailers face the most competition from e-tailers in the US and UK. Ninety-two and 67 percent of local shoppers respectively look at these markets when making an international purchase.
Shipping, Fraud and Customer Experience Among Biggest Pain Points
Fraud prevention and management at check-out, tracking, shipping costs and poor customer experiences reportedly cause the most headaches for online shoppers, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to most.
“If there’s one finding for retailers to pay attention to, it’s this one: fast and free shipping is a must”, said Lila Snyder, president of commerce services at Pitney Bowes.
During busy periods, consumers have reported feelings of frustration when it comes to expensive shipping costs and late deliveries. In 2018, 60 percent of respondents said shipping issues during holiday periods were their biggest pain point – up from only 40 percent in 2017.
Shipping costs are also one of the three main reasons Australians abandon their shopping carts when looking to make a purchase from an international retailer. Delayed delivery times and a suspicious checkout process were the other two cited. On a global scale, Australians have the highest rate of cart abandonment on international purchases, sitting at a rate of 62 percent. A further 34 percent abandon their cart due to extended shipping times.
“These findings present an opportunity for brands and retailers to master processes, predominantly shipping space – like customer care and delivery tracking; returns, calculating shipping costs and calculating duties and taxes,” Snyder said.
“While the retail industry invests millions of dollars in marketing to drive consumers to their e-commerce sites, all of that expense and effort is wasted if they don’t also invest in attractive fast and free shipping offers that meet consumer expectations.”
“Successful high-growth retailers and brands not only exceed their customers’ expectations on the post-purchase experience, but they leverage every consumer touchpoint to build brand awareness, further strengthening customer loyalty.”
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