Australian consumers largely still prefer to shop offline

One fifth of Australian shoppers prefer to shop exclusively in-store, the most of any country in APAC, while only 2 per cent shop exclusively online, according to Rakuten’s APAC e-commerce report.

Australians are warier of online shopping than any other APAC company. Issues with shipping are cited as the main reasons for this disconnect, with 38 per cent of respondents having an issue with the cost of shipping, and a further 28 per cent expressing concerns over the ability to return items.

Additionally, despite mobile commerce being a growing industry in Australia with double-digit growth, only 36 per cent of Australians prefer the use of a mobile device for e-commerce, and only 20 per cent prefer the use of a tablet, compared to 65 per cent preferring to use a laptop or desktop.

This device preference becomes more pronounced when age demographics are taken into account, with just 9 per cent of shoppers aged 35-44 and above 55 using a mobile device for e-commerce, with 63 per cent using a desktop or laptop.

Conversely, mobile was the most popular among shoppers aged 25-34, 67 per cent of which prefer the devices for online shopping.

The most commonly purchased category across all age brackets was women’s fashion, with 9 per cent of online expenditure over the past six months dedicated to it, with the travel and services and media and games ranked closely behind at 8 per cent each.

Australians expressed growing intentions to spend online over the next six months, with 64 per cent intending to buy groceries, household and beauty products, while 62 per cent are looking to purchase pet supplies.

Sixty per cent of respondents also intend to purchase media and games, travel and services, women’s fashion, health products and men’s fashion in the next six months, indicating that while digital shopping growth may slow, it is still occuring.

Less than half (49 per cent) of Australians think that international brands can provide a better product selection compared to domestic offerings, while 19 per cent prefer international brands to Australian-owned.

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