Aussie online shoppers spending the most on gifts

It has been a great year for online retailers, with Australians rapidly embracing the ease and convenience of online shopping, spending more in one transaction and purchasing more frequently in 2017 than ever before.

According to a report by retail management platform Neto on the changing face of retail in Australia, the average online ‘basket value’ in 2017 increased by 16 per cent.

“Constantly acquiring customers is costly, but maximising basket value and in many cases multiplying the profit margin on every sales transaction, is a smart strategy retailers can implement,” explains Ryan Murtagh, CEO and founder of Neto.

“Our report reveals that not only are Aussies spending more per transaction online, but the data tells us they are shopping online more frequently too. This is very good news for online retailers.

The average basket size of homewares and furniture online purchases grew by 12 per cent in 2017 to $178, while the average basket size for gifts grew to $127.78, up 13 per cent. “Women buy gifts online more than men. Gifting was the highest performing of all sectors by monthly sales figures.”

However, Murtagh says this doesn’t spell the demise of the bricks and mortar retail store. Indeed, 64 per cent of shoppers say they will search for products online after having seen them in-store, and 46 per cent expect retailers to be able to check the availability of stock online and then to purchase it―while at the counter―if they can’t it find it in-store. As a result, integrated technology across all channels that can manage stock and inventory in real time is absolutely critical.

“Today’s hyper-connected consumers research, try, buy and return products via mobile devices. They shop in-store, use a mobile phone to compare products online, have questions answered by a virtual sales assistant or a chatbot, and can purchase a competitor product before leaving a physical store.

“Ease and convenience remain the top priorities for consumers’ shopping experiences, and consequently so does an efficient fulfilment, shipping and returns process. The vast majority―84 per cent―of consumers still prefer to receive their goods at home,” says Murtagh.

Australians are also embracing new ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ payment methods with transactions increasing by 147 per cent in 2017 and accounting for 3.22 per cent of the total transaction value.

“The toys and hobbies industry has shifted largely to ecommerce retailers with a 39 per cent increase in spending online from $82.17 to $136.41 per transaction. Buy Now, Pay Later methods for toys and sales also rose by 12 per cent over the year―22 per cent of shoppers said toys were their most frequent purchase.”

By Marion Gerritsen