It predicted that Australians will spend more than $13.6 billion online in 2011 – an increase of more than 13 per cent on last year’s $12 billion.
Of this total amount, about $6 billion will be spent with offshore online retailers, an increase of 25 per cent from the $4.8 billion spent last year. It results in 44 per cent of all online retail sales going offshore in 2011, a rise from 40 per cent in 2010.
Frost & Sullivan senior research manager, Phil Harpur, said both local and online shopping will grow at least twice as fast compared to the total local retail market over the next four years.
“Online spending by Australians will reach $21.7 billion by 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate [CAGR] of 12.6 per cent,” he said.
The study also indicated that more than a third of survey participants use a smartphone or a tablet device to buy products online.
PwC’s global retail and consumer advisory leader, Stuart Harker, said in the last 12 months, the tablet device has been one of the key drivers of online retail sales and will continue to drive sales in the next year with the introduction of more products.
“Australians will each spend more than an estimated $600 online in 2011, compared to $536 in 2010,” he said.
Harker listed four other factors for the decline in local retail sales:
- Offshore online sales being calculated separately from the forecast retail sales growth
- Ease of securely purchasing and doorstep delivery of online shopping
- GST not being a significant issue for online shoppers
- Lower prices for a greater product range
PwC national digital leader, John Riccio, said digital channels are commencing to compete with large and small retailers as well.
“The general lack of an online presence by the large retail chains in Australia over the last decade has been a significant factor for a relatively poor up take of online shopping in A/NZ to date,” he stated.
The shift of consumer behaviour – 95 per cent of them searching the Web for product information, price comparisons and peer reviews before purchasing online and more than 65 per cent of in-store purchases initiated on the Web, highlights the need for an online offer integrated with in-store experiences.
Riccio encouraged retailers to rethink about the role of the store and how they intend to engage and retain their current and target customers. He suggested they utilise multiple channels to foster a stronger relationship than through a single traditional store channel.
“Because customers can buy anything they want any time on any device, the store becomes more about brand and customer engagement, merchandise and the overall store experience,” he said.