Retailers need to focus on the customer experience.

Online shopping continues to grow both domestically and globally. Australia Post general manager of eCommerce and International, Ben Franzi told Appliance Retailer, “in Australia we know we’re about to be disrupted, and retail as we know it won’t ever look the same. That’s why innovation is critical, particularly when it comes to improving the customer experience and making eCommerce as seamless as possible for retailers”.

“The global economy offers so much in terms of opportunities for merchants; Australian businesses and consumers have access to markets and products that were previously inaccessible, but that also means increased competition for local merchants. Those retailers who continue to learn more about their customers to ensure the can meet their needs and expectations will continue to do well.

“We are helping business in this regard. A couple of weeks ago we released our 2017 Inside Australian Online Shopping Report, which identifies who is buying what and where online across the country. It is a powerful tool to help businesses understand their existing and potential customers better, so they can create targeted offers and grow their sales by giving consumers what they want based on facts and data.

“The three key drivers of online shopping are price, range and convenience. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to know your customers and continue to adapt your products and services to suit their changing needs. eCommerce is an incredibly lucrative market, but it’s also very agile.

“However, we’re seeing more and more bricks and mortar retailers enter the online space, with omni-channel offerings and they are doing very well. Both online retailers and bricks-and-mortar stores are focused heavily on customer experiences. Today shoppers are more informed than ever before with information, reviews and product comparisons at their fingertips. Whether its online or through store, retailers should focus on creating consistent experiences that are meaningful and memorable for their customers.

“Online shopping in Australia accounts for about 7 per cent of the total retail market – compared to double digits overseas. So while there is definitely more growth to be had in online, and bricks and mortar stores are also still very relevant and will continue to be. Also, buying behaviour is changing. We know that consumers tend to shop online later in the day with 29% of purchases made between 7 to 10pm. Bricks and mortar retailers are combatting this by extending their trading hours to cater for changing expectations.

“In 2017, keep learning, keep looking and stay innovative. As for Amazon… Amazon will only create further exposure for the eCommerce market. It’s a strong market which continues to grow – our data shows us that Australian’s are shopping online more than ever with an 11.5% growth rate year on year,” he said.