National poll reveals 76% of connected Kiwis still prefer shopping in-store to online
Although the rise of digital media and the internet has seen a change in the retail environment, a recent AMP Capital Shopping Centres poll reveals 76% of connected Kiwis still prefer to shop in-store rather than online, with just 24% agreeing that they regularly do their shopping over the internet.
More than 1,200 New Zealanders in Auckland, Tauranga and Christchurch were canvassed in the AMPCSC poll. Respondents were sourced from urban, suburban and rural households, and asked a wide range of questions about online influences. With their answers, a good picture of Kiwis’ attitudes has emerged.
With Paymark processing more than $4.6 billion of spending in December 2011, the appeal of shopping in-store remains strong. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents enjoyed the fact that they can be assisted in-store if they need help.
“While more and more Kiwis are connected to social media and emerging technology, our research shows that people still want to experience the sensory and social aspects of shopping in-store,” says AMPCSC senior marketing manager Desiree Clark. “These results present an opportunity for retailers to not only focus on providing an exceptional in-store experience, but also to consider how they cater for the digitally savvy.”
In response to the research, New Zealand Retailers Association northern regional manager Russell Sinclair says, “A total of 76% of connected respondents prefer to shop in-store and like the personal customer service experience. When you consider that this was an online-only survey, which would naturally skew the results, one can assume that 90% of all shoppers still prefer to shop at a bricks-and-mortar retailer if their needs can be met.”
Respondents were asked about the way they use digital channels as part of their shopping experience. The results revealed that more than 93% were regular users of the internet, while 51% used digital media such as search engines and Facebook to find out or talk about shopping.
The most commonly used forms of digital media for shoppers are retailer websites (77%), followed by search engines (73%), email alerts such as Dailydo, GrabOne and 1-day (68%), and email newsletters from retailers (62%).
“Retailer websites are now the most commonly used form of digital media. This reinforces our belief that having a website is no longer a matter of choice, it is an essential requirement, and must be constantly maintained and updated,” Mr Sinclair says.
Australian shoppers tend to be ahead of their New Zealand counterparts when it comes to the use of digital media. AMPCSC’s annual Recommended Retail Practices Report September 2011: Consumer Connections into Australia’s $240 billion retail sector revealed that 85% of shoppers who are online are using some form of digital media to support their in-store shopping, compared to 51% of connected New Zealanders.
But overall, more Kiwis are shopping online, with online retail expenditure now accounting for 5.1% of all retail sales , compared to Australia at approximately 3.6%. Daily deal websites have increased in popularity, with 68% of New Zealanders using email alerts from such websites as Dailydo, GrabOne and 1-day as part of their shopping experience, compared to 40% of Australians.
“Shoppers are using technology to make the most of their in-store experience, whether it is checking their local AMPCSC Facebook page for the latest retailer deals or visiting shopping centres’ websites for a downloadable centre store guide. More than ever, shoppers want an integrated experience and online routes present a huge opportunity for retailers to interact with existing and potential customers,” Ms Clark says.