Consumers want ‘omnichannel’ shopping experience

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A new report suggests retailers should offer consumers an ‘omnichannel’ shopping experience to capitalise on changing shopping behaviour.

The inaugural ‘2018 State of e-Commerce: Asia Pacific’ from Rakuten Marketing report found that:

  • 78 per cent of Australian consumers like to shop both online and in-store
  • 20 per cent shop instore only; and
  • two per cent shop exclusively online.

The report suggests that for retailers to grow in Australia, they need to unite ‘user experiences’. This means uniting brick-and-mortar to mobile browsing, and everything in between.

The research surveyed 1,000 consumers in each market: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and South Korea. It then drew together consumer trends to help brands expand across APAC.

ANZ playing catch-up

The report found that Australia and New Zealand have the highest offline shopping trends in APAC. So they still have some catching up to do with their more digitally savvy neighbours in the region, despite e-commerce growing steadily in both countries.

In fact, with just two per cent of consumers shopping exclusively online, Australia ranks lowest amongst APAC countries. Shipping, returns and payment security are some reasons Aussie consumers have yet to embrace online shopping fully.

“In 2018, it is expected that the APAC e-commerce market will reach $1.8 trillion dollars, with 75 per cent ($1.3. trillion) in mobile transactions,” Rakuten Marketing APAC Managing Director JJ Eastwood said.

“These findings reflect an ongoing shift in online and offline purchasing behaviours, with technology-savvy consumers using the internet to streamline the shopping experience. There is a clear opportunity here for retailers to build meaningful relationships with their customers by adopting an omni-channel approach.”

Brands must do their homework

According to Rakuten Marketing, the scale of the e-commerce market and the forecasted growth makes Australia and the region a highly desirable destination for global brands. But the company says that, to enjoy growth in the region, brands must do their homework.

“For brands to be successful in APAC, it will be important for them to be familiar with the different devices, platforms and consumer preferences within the region,” Mr Eastwood said.

“Unsurprisingly, the data shows heavy usage of mobile devices for shopping. Although in countries like China, these transactions come from specific apps like WeChat and Weibo.

“APAC consumers also like to optimise their shopping experiences through services like concierge apps and freight forwarding services.”