Independent retailers soar
Vend’s “Retail Benchmarks Report”, which compared data from over 13,000 retailers with a particular focus on Australia, New Zealand, North America and the United Kingdom, showed Australian retailers’ average monthly revenues were also 17 per cent higher than in North America and 37 per cent higher than the UK, showing a stronger spending trend for Australia’s local stores compared to these overseas markets.
Average transaction values in the country, which is the amount spent in a retail store per transaction, were the highest of all the main markets, showing a five per cent increase compared to the the global average. However sales volumes weren’t quite as strong, still up five per cent on the global average but sits 19 per cent lower than in New Zealand and 16 per cent lower than in the UK.
“It’s value over volume for Australian shoppers,” said Dave Scheine, Vend Country Manager for APAC.
Scheine said over the past year, factors like a lack of household income growth and cautious consumption have impacted retail sales, so the data may be showing that shoppers are simply being more selective with where they shop and what they buy.
“The growth of payment options such as buy-now, pay-later could also be encouraging spending on higher-value items, as shoppers are able to afford those purchases paid off over time,” he said.
According to Scheine, the retail sector has seen a lot of change and disruption in the past year. So it is encouraging to see the solid spending figures in comparison to other markets.
Shoe stores, hobby and musical instrument stores, and office supplies, stationery and gift stores all saw stronger sales volumes compared to other retail store types in the past 12 months. The highest revenue figures, however, were in stores with generally higher-value items such as furniture, electronics and appliances, and jewellery stores.
Scheine said their research also showed that Australian retailers are yet to make full use of customer loyalty.
“That could really be hindering them in staying competitive against the bigger players,” he said. “Only 48 per cent of retailers have loyalty enabled in their Vend POS system.”
“And the number of customers stored in their databases per store is also 13 per cent lower than the global average – and 34 per cent behind North American retailers,” he added. “There’s definitely more our local stores could be doing to boost sales.”