Optimising online purchasing experiences

BY Australian Retailers Association
06 May 2019

Inefficient customer carting and checkout experiences are deterring Aussie shoppers from using mobile phones to complete their purchases, according to new research released today by Bazaarvoice.


The findings of the research show a clear need for Australian retailers to improve their mobile shopping capability – through authentic content, better discoverability and easier paths to purchase to maximise their slice of the retail spending pie, worth an estimated $310 billion annually.

According to the research, which surveyed more than 1,300 Australians nationwide on their shopping habits and preferences, poor mobile shopping platforms are the greatest bug bear for those trying to use their mobile for internet shopping. One third (32%) of shoppers surveyed said that navigating the purchasing steps of online retailers is off-putting on a mobile device, a figure which was consistent across genders and generations.

Kate Musgrove, Bazaarvoice Managing Director APAC, notes there is opportunity for newer and more established retailers to learn from each other to create smooth online purchasing experiences.

“Newer brands are starting off their businesses with their mobile and desktop experiences already optimised, which contrasts with more established brands, who are just starting to delve into online experiences, or are using out-of-date solutions, and are experimenting with purchasing paths, which may be causing grief for customers.”

“Australian brands and retailers are lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of their adaptive online experiences, so for us to catch up, retailers and brands need to get the omni-channel experience right. An important differentiator for retailers is being able to offer authentic content such as user-generated product reviews. ”

Interestingly, Bazaarvoice’s Australian shopper research also revealed that 95% of online shoppers undertake online research, with more than half conducting research regularly or every time prior to making a purchase. Importantly, more than 80% of all shoppers seek out other shoppers’ reviews, and men do this more often than women. Fifty percent of people surveyed said they were willing to post a review at least occasionally, particularly if they had a good experience. Men also post reviews more often than women, but they are likely to post reviews if they are dissatisfied.

The research found that a large proportion of Aussies are shopping online every month, spending big on everything from groceries to cosmetics, sporting equipment and shoes. Only 7% of Australian shoppers overall completely shun the Internet in favour of bricks and mortar retailers, a figure that increases to 14% amongst over 65s and declines to 3% amongst those under 25.


Learning from returns

According to Bazaarvoice’s research, for a large proportion of these shoppers, their purchases may be destined to live out their days unopened, unworn or unused, with one in five shoppers (21%) failing to meet the deadline to return goods, forgetting to send them back or just not bothering. The worst offenders were 18-24 year olds, with 31% hanging on to purchases they don’t want, need or those that disappointed. Conversely, 55-64 year olds were most vigilant in returning their shopping ‘misses’.

The study also found that 27% of Australian shoppers are planning to spend more over 2019 than they did in 2018. Groceries were ranked as the number one category of shopping where respondents anticipated the greatest amount of spending, with almost half of all shoppers (49%) stating this is where they will likely spend most of their dollars this year. Thirteen per cent of shoppers rated clothing as their most extravagant category of spend, while computers and smart technology such as tablets and phones were the top dollar purchase for just 7% of shoppers.

Ms Musgrove concluded, “Naturally, there is a due diligence process for any important purchase, which generally involves checking reviews and doing research. This needs to be a smooth experience across all devices and platforms, with reviews easily accessible. However, this should be just one factor in the overall shopping experience. Retailers also need to ensure that their online and purchasing experiences are optimised, and that product returns processes are cost-effective and easy for purchasers to negotiate, to help ensure that the shopper experience is a positive one.”

About the research

The research was carried out via a quantitative online survey hosted by VIGA Research, between 4 February 2019 and 8 February 2019. The survey was completed by 1,307 nationally-representative Australian consumers.

About Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice connects brands and retailers to consumers, so that every shopping experience feels personal. From search and discovery to purchase and advocacy, Bazaarvoice’s solutions reach in-market shoppers, personalise their experiences, and give them the confidence to buy.For more information, visit www.bazaarvoice.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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