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Aussie shoppers value their time highly and retailers who fail to respond will pay the price. It’s long been known that we won’t tolerate a long queue snaking its way through a department store – we’d rather head to the beach and come back next week – but this lack of patience also applies when shopping from the comfort of our couch.
According to The Future of Australian Retail study, one in three Aussies (32%) have abandoned an online purchase because the payment process took too long. And don’t even get us started on delivery charges. This was the biggest bugbear, with more than half (52%) clicking away because these costs were too high.
In-store still rules
Shopping is a social experience. No, we’re not all ordering pizzas and a case of beers on Facebook, we’re heading out to the shops because we enjoy being around other people. Some people, anyway, mostly our family and friends. More than half (59%) of Aussies say they enjoy shopping in-store because it’s a social activity.
We like being able to see and touch products before deciding whether to buy them (83%), comparing items (79%) and enjoy the browsing experience (72%). And of course there’s the instant gratification of being able to walk away with your purchase (67%) as long as it’s not a grand piano.
We still prefer to be in-store when shopping for food and alcohol or buying clothes, furniture and DIY equipment.
More than two-thirds (68%) agree that speed is the most important factor when shopping in-store. A growing number (33%) now prefer self-service options although 45% still like to deal with a person. See, we really are still social animals after all.
But it can be frustrating
Aside from the dreaded queue, we’re most likely to abandon in-store purchases because card terminals are out of order (22%), there’s no card payment option at the checkout (20%) or because the self-service checkout is difficult to use (16%).
Our biggest frustrations with shopping in-store are those long queues (41%), the hassle of getting there in the first place (30%), shops being too busy (28%) and finding out that what we want is unavailable (26%).
Cash isn’t king. Card payments (46%) and even contactless payments (25%) are more popular than notes and coins (20%). More than half (55%) of the Aussies surveyed think the current requirement to enter a PIN for contactless payments above $100 is about right. A small number who really value convenience (4%) would like to see this increased to $400. Hey, big spenders.
Why we love shopping online
Yep, we’re back to those bloody queues again. Nearly three-quarters of Aussies (72%) will head online for the convenience of not in a line. We also like to compare prices (64%), prefer to avoid loitering sales assistants (62%) and value the convenience of delivery (61%).
We’re most likely to shop online when buying books, music or something for those we love most – our kids and our pets (not necessarily in that order). Pet care products are leading the charge into the brave new world of in-app purchases.
But even when shopping from the comfort of our couch, there are still plenty of frustrations that will stop us completing a purchase, with high delivery costs (52%) being the biggest reason we abandon online purchases. This is probably the biggest reason why 71% of Aussies still don’t use Amazon, although that’s likely to change dramatically with the imminent local launch of this global powerhouse.
We also dislike lengthy online payment processes (32%) and the lack of relevant payment options (31%). We still get spooked by security concerns (30%) and are prepared to pull the plug when asked to pay unexpected charges (27%).
In search of an easy life
Whether we’re shopping in-store or online, there’s a common theme that runs between these experiences – Aussies place great value on convenience. As the digital economy blurs lines between the two main forms of shopping, the next task for retailers is to let us slip seamlessly from one to the other.
When we’re shopping in-store but an item we want is out of stock, 48% of Aussies would like to make the purchase anyway and have it delivered when next available. We want to return items that we’ve bought online next time we’re in-store (40%) and to have items we buy in-store delivered home when it’s convenient for us (37%).
“Aussie shoppers want convenience whether they’re in-store or online,” said Michel van Aalten, Country Manager AUNZ, Adyen. “Queues are a customer experience killer and speed is crucial when it comes to payments, which is why retailers must enable options like self-service and contactless payments at the checkout. Online shopping needs to be easy, secure and free from hidden charges.
“Most importantly, retailers must allow customers to move seamlessly between physical stores, websites and mobile apps. This unified commerce approach is the best way to delight shoppers, build loyalty and increase revenue.”
Since opening an office in Australia in 2015, Adyen has made significant traction in the market, unveiling successful online, in-store and omnichannel payment solutions for customers such as Kogan, Showpo and Freelancer.com.
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