Online marketing the next big thing for the retail sector?

Retail studies reveal growing demands for an online shopping environment

The global retail landscape is making a shift towards the online channel, according to the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS).

ACRS’s latest research shows a sharp rise in consumer demand for online retail, multi-channel retailing and e-commerce.

At the 2011 Global Retail Insights survey, ACRS, in collaboration with experts from Google and Salmat, presented key findings and tackled the current concerns facing retailers.

Vital issues include:

  • Shaping the current multi-channel landscape for Australian retailers from the 2010 global consumer and retail trends
  • The opportunities and threats surrounding Australian retailers’ behaviours and stance
  • The manifestation of the local “Green Consumer” – their demographics and influence patterns
  • The challenges facing Australian multi-channel retailers in future

The results proved that instead of the traditional use of the online platform for e-commerce or fulfilment purposes, vendors are beginning to distinguish it as an engaging tool to operate store traffic and trade.

In addition, a growing pool of retailers is transitioning to the mobile device for convenient marketing as research showed “over Xmas 2010, 17.5 per cent of all Google retail searches occurred on a mobile device.”

Retailers also have an added pressure to offer green alternatives, as the local population expects purchases that have green credentials.

However, retailers are hesitant to invest in ‘new media’ though they are fully aware of its need and are missing out on investments, ACRS said.

“Australian retailers [should] catch up with the rest of the world or be left behind,” it said.