Aussie consumers now see online as the primary source of pre-purchase information and are often turning up to stores as well informed on a product as the floor staff – if not more so.
We still want to buy in store, but even this is shifting with a huge growth in shopping online.
Despite these marked shifts in buyer behaviour retailers still spend less than 10 percent of their promotional budgets online, preferring to spend big on traditional media.
Dr Sean Sands, a research fellow at the Australian Centre For Retail Studies, says that will change as the role of online grows further.
The biggest adjustment though will be in how retailers embrace the concept of multichannel marketing. Many companies have treated online and in-store as distinct channels, when in reality the consumer hops between each at various stages of the purchase process.
I caught up with Sean at the ACRS Global Retail Insights presentation in Sydney to talk about the challenges for a retailer moving to a true multichannel approach.