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Digital Consumer Landscape: Retail Industry Results

While online retail shopping is increasing in popularity in Australia, it still remains the least penetrated of the sectors we surveyed, with about 15% of Australians buying apparel online and only about 3% buying groceries online. This comes in spite of relatively high levels of trust in online retailers, compared with those in energy, financial services, or telecommunications.

Those who do shop online, especially in apparel, report fairly high levels of satisfaction overall, particularly at the purchase and post-purchase phases. This is perhaps due to the relative maturity of online apparel shopping platforms. In contrast, online grocery shoppers were less satisfied at all stages of their journey, particularly at the research and post-purchase phases.

The most common barriers to online grocery shopping relate to product quality. Three-quarters of shoppers who do not currently buy groceries online cite a lack of trust that retailers will select quality fresh produce or meat. The other major barrier to online grocery shopping is convenience. Over half of offline shoppers stated that they believe buying in store is just as convenient. The delivery process appears to be a particular pain point. While online shoppers cited ability to plan ahead as the main reason they shop for groceries online, they also cited restricted time slots for delivery and lack of immediate delivery options.

In apparel, the most common pain points are caused by the inability to try on clothing, website problems, and uncertainty surrounding the refund process. In fact, 90% of consumers felt in-store shopping is the only way to guarantee their apparel purchases would fit and be of a satisfactory quality.

What Do Australian Retail Consumers Want?

Online shoppers value convenience, access, and range—or are pushed online due to in-store limitations. In-store shoppers don't trust price or quality online and prefer personally checking items.

Shoppers are more concerned than ever with controlling their personal data, but are willing to share their data for cheaper or better service. Both of these trends have escalated since 2016, and are most prominent in younger demographics. Customers are comfortable with, and in fact expect, personalized services that require data sharing.

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