Monday, 21 April 2008

Online retail not working for Australians

A recent article by Dynamic Business magazine reports on some surprising research completed by The Leading Edge consultancy in Australia which indicates that the number of online buyers has plateaued. Although the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics state that 61% of Australians shopped online in the 2006-07, this new research claims that those web users who aren’t currently buying online don’t intend to start.

Part of the reason for this stagnation is reported to be due to poor or unclear return policies by the retailers (47%) or high delivery charges (32%). Australia’s limited Internet capability is also quoted as being an obstacle for users, as well as the online strategies of traditional 'bricks and mortar' retail stores that tend to hinder their own online success.

Unlike retailers in the US and Europe that are embracing the opportunities of selling online, The Leading Edge say that many retailer websites in Australia are little more than online catalogue pages, with limited selling channels that offer few integrated services between existing stores and websites. Ultimately they claim that there is little being offered at the moment to excite shoppers or to give them the confidence to change their current habits and spend more online.

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