When it comes to online shopping, and despite the wide variety of opportunities Australian customers demonstrate a clear preference for particular types of purchases.

According to the 2018 SAP Consumer Propensity Report, travel, fashion and entertainment top the online shopping list.

Among those surveyed, 72 per cent are buying flights, hotels and tours online, 69 per cent are buying fashion, 61 per cent are buying entertainment and 56 per cent are buying electronic goods.

At the other end of the scale products that are not so frequently purchased online include groceries, financial products like loans and insurance and furniture.

The SAP report surveyed 8,000 customers in the Asia Pacific region with 1,000 of those from Australia. Respondents were questioned about their online shopping habits, shopping cart interactions, purchase motivations and features wishlists.

When it comes to buying online without hesitation, Australian consumers will buy groceries, entertainment and travel in a day.

From the report, 77 per cent of respondents buy groceries and consumer packaged goods such as bath, hair and pet supplies, 81 per cent buy entertainment experiences for example concert tickets, and 73 per cent buy travel which includes flights, hotels and tours.

The SAP research suggests retailers should emphasise;

  • customer engagement as the key factor in driving results for brands;
  • examining every part of the customer journey and how a business interacts at each of these point needs;
  • an end-to-end omnichannel vision and strategy to drive a customer centric digital transformation approach;
  • and delivery of a worry-free experience.

The impact of business critical infrastructure

Scott Treller, Executive General Manager at SAP CX ANZ, says retailers need to understand the impact of all of their business critical infrastructure in a world where brands are competing on customer experience.

“The way a consumer interacts with your company now is about much more than just the website. It’s about that entire experience of engaging the brand.”

Take shopping cart abandonment as an example, “Shipping costs are only one of the number reasons consumers cite for cart abandonment. Exchange policies place very highly, and these can be something you can put in place without having an impact on your bottom line.”

Growth in online spending

Ecommerce growth is in no way slowing down with the report projecting that global ecommerce growth will more than double, from $US2.3 trillion in 2017 to $US4.88 trillion in 2021.

In Australia, consumers In 2017 spent a total of $1.95 billion per month on online shopping according to a NAB Online Retail Sales Index.

In that same report, the bank estimates in the 12 months between September 2016 to September 2017 Australians spent $23.4 billion on online retail spending, a year-on-year growth of 6 per cent.

Small businesses took up a third of online spending with SME online retailers were responsible for around 36 per cent of all online retail sales in the 12 months recorded according to the NAB report.

Judging by the research from companies such as Australia Post, the trends outlined by the SAP research are only set to become more entrenched.

By 2020, Australia Post predicts one in 10 items will be bought online. Consumers are more than likely to pick up their smartphones to shop online with one in five online purchases made with a mobile.

About the author

Athina Mallis is the editor of the Digital Intelligence Unit, of which SAP Hybris is a corporate member. Our members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.


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