Shoppers call for free delivery, better websites greater convenience

Australia will continue to lag behind other markets such as the UK if retailers do not offer free delivery, better product selection and website navigation as well as more convenient delivery options.  This is the finding of research into online shopping habits by consumer ratings house, Canstar Blue.

Recent research showed that, across all categories, more than half of all Aussies have shopped online* with growth at around 20-30% annually, signalling increasing comfort with Internet shopping.  The Canstar Blue research found that this willingness is yet to translate to grocery shopping, with only 27% of people having tried shopping for their groceries online. Speaking about the barriers to online grocery shopping, Rebecca Logan of Canstar Blue commented, “Perusing the supermarket aisles tends to be a deeply engrained ritual for consumers so we undertook the research to better understand why consumers are reluctant to shop online,” Ms Logan says. The cost of delivery is perhaps one of the biggest barriers to online shopping, with 60% of Australians saying that they would be more likely to shop online if delivery was free. Additionally 39% of people said they would be more likely to shop online if time periods for delivery were shorter or more convenient. Ms Logan continued, “If we look specifically at online grocery shopping, there are even greater challenges. Perishable products present extra challenges for retailers and in a country as large as Australia; distribution is more problematic than in Europe. In the UK retailers have established what are called ‘dark stores’ to give a greater network of coverage so we may see Aussie retailers setting up such stores in time.  But before they can do this retailers will need to establish demand.” The research also found that 45% of consumers say they would shop online if it were easier to see specials and savings and 36% would use the Internet to shop if the website were more user-friendly.  More than a third of people (39%) would shop online if the product selection was better. Ms Logan continues, “What consumers are saying is that they don’t feel that the online experience closely replicates the benefits of visiting a store. Factors such as being able to choose from a large range of products or to see the specials are really important to consumers. Those retailers who are working on these issues need to communicate this to shoppers.” The research coincides with Canstar Blue’s annual overall satisfaction ratings in the supermarket sector.  Foodland customers were the most satisfiedwith their supermarket experience with Canstar Blue awarding the supermarket a 5 star rating.  ALDI also performed well and received 4 stars for overall satisfaction. Coles and Woolworths were rated most highly in the product quality and product variety criteria. Of the supermarkets surveyed by Canstar Blue, only Coles and Woolworths have an online offering but once consumers become accustomed to the idea of checking out on the internet, this sector is likely to grow according to Canstar Blue.  Ms Logan concluded, “Given the high satisfaction ratings achieved by Foodland, particularly around the quality of produce and value for money we would expect an online offering would be particularly appealing for their existing customers.” View the supermarket customer satisfaction ratings. For more information Sophie Schuler Blue Chip Communication E: canstar@bluechipcommunication.com.au T: (02) 9018 8600 Notes to editors * Australia’s digital economy report, 2013 This research was conducted by Colmar Brunton during June 2013 amongst a representative sample of 2,500 Australians. The responses are from the 2438 people from within this group who have made a purchase from a supermarket in the last month About Canstar Blue Canstar Blue was launched in July 2010 by CANSTAR, one of Australia’s most trusted providers of financial research and education.  Canstar Blue releases regular ratings of consumer goods and services to measure and track Australian consumer satisfaction to help consumers make the best purchasing decisions for their needs. What are the Canstar Blue ratings? Canstar Blue researches, compares and rates products and services according to customersatisfaction across categories including banking, telecommunications, appliances, electronics, utilities and FMCG. Results are freely available to consumers who are encouraged to use the ratings as a guide to product excellence. The full range of results can be seen on the Canstar Blue website at www.canstarblue.com.au.

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