One in two Australians now shop online

A structural rethink into Australia’s physical retail sector has been ordered after it was revealed that half of the country’s population over the age of 15 now shop online. Author: Richard Towey

A structural rethink into Australia’s physical retail sector has been ordered after it was revealed that half of the country’s population over the age of 15 now shop online.

Research from PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) shows that 53 per cent of Aussies above the age of 15 are conducting sprees from the comfort of their own homes, with online spend expected to grow by a further 17 per cent in the next year.

According to insideretailing.com.au, PwC envisaged a 17.9 per cent pick-up in spend as part of ‘The Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping report’, which could potentially take the total up to $26.9 billion (around £17.8 billion) for 2012.

These figures may be welcomed by couriers, e-commerce retailers and companies offering online payment services, but physical stores in Australia could be set for a turbulent second half of the year. PwC says that a total of 55 per cent shop online to get a greater range of prices, with less consumers appearing to side with one particular store.

Commenting on the results, PwC’s John Riccio warned Australian retailers that they must find a way to cater for this growing market of tech-savvy shoppers or risk being left behind.

“Retailers need to be integrated across all their channels,” he told dynamicbusiness.com.au. “No longer is the store the physical door that customers enter and leave from. Now your door is likely to be an e-commerce site, a mobile app, an interactive billboard, through a friend’s Facebook page or a video on Youtube.”

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