On­lin­ers move in- store

Web drives re­tail sales

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

MO­BILE phones and tablets aren’t just used for online shop­ping, they play a big part in at­tract­ing cus­tomers to bricks and mor­tar stores.

A new Deloitte re­port finds 40 per cent of store vis­its in Aus­tralia last year were in­flu­enced by in­ter­ac­tions on so­cial media, web­sites and apps.

While online shop­ping is on the rise, in- store sales still ac­count for 93 per cent of to­tal sales in Aus­tralia.

The Deloitte re­port says many tra­di­tional re­tail­ers con­sider online as a dis­tinct sales chan­nel re­quir­ing con­sid­er­able in­vest­ment, with lower profit mar­gins.

“This view dras­ti­cally un­der­es­ti­mates the po­ten­tial value and re­turn on in­vest­ment of dig­i­tal on in- store ex­pe­ri­ence,” it said.

New online re­tail meth­ods can blend with and com­ple­ment tra­di­tional sales tech­niques, Deloitte said.

One in five peo­ple aged 55 to 70 use dig­i­tal de­vices when shop­ping in ac­tual stores, the re­search shows.

Cat­e­gories most in­flu­enced by dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy are elec­tron­ics, automotive, books and mu­sic, fur­ni­ture and baby and tod­dler prod­ucts.

One of the re­port’s re­searchers, Kather­ine Milesi, said users of so­cial media were 26 per cent more likely than non- users to make a re­tail pur­chase.

“A lot of so­cial media is about gain­ing in­for­ma­tion and val­i­da­tion for a pur­chase,” she said. “We know in ap­parel pur­chas­ing a lot of val­i­da­tion is de­vel­oped by tak­ing photos and up­load­ing to a site and get­ting friends to com­ment be­fore pur­chas­ing.”

The Deloitte re­search was drawn from a sur­vey of 2000 Aus­tralians.

The study found 47 per cent of re­spon­dents use mo­bile phone de­vices to com­pare prod­ucts and 42 per cent ac­cess prod­uct in­for­ma­tion online.

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MO­BILE BUY­ERS: Cus­tomers use smart­phones to de­cide on in- store pur­chases.

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