Nassim Khadem Reporter

Nassim covers the accounting and tax rounds for BRW, as well as general business news. She previously worked for The Age newspaper covering general news, state politics and economics.

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More Aussies to shop online this Christmas

Published 05 December 2012 05:38, Updated 06 December 2012 05:28

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More Aussies to shop online this Christmas

While a quarter of Australians polled in an Ernst & Young survey say they’ll increase the amount the spend shopping online this Christmas, two-thirds say they’d rather go to a store. Photo: AFP

Australians plan on doing 35 per cent of their Christmas shopping online, according to a new survey, and about half don’t care whether it’s from an Australian or overseas site.

An Ernst & Young survey of 625 consumers found 46 per cent think it doesn’t matter whether the site is Australian or international. In fact global giants eBay and Amazon were the most successful online stores among those surveyed. eBay was particularly popular among men.

When judging the reputation of a business, 47 per cent considered value for money number one versus 24 per cent who believe ‘Australian owned’ is most important.

“Previously ‘Australian made’ would invoke an element of national pride but it has a different transactional value now,” Ernst & Young’s customer leader, advisory, John Rolland, says.

While one-quarter of those surveyed said they were increasing the amount they spent shopping online for Christmas presents from last year, two-thirds (66 per cent) say that they would rather go to a store than buy online.

Rolland says today’s customer is more concerned about their shopping experience. More than half of those surveyed (52 per cent) say they sometimes won’t shop online because of delivery time.

“It is not simply a case of ‘if we build it, they will come’,” he says. “Online shoppers can be unforgiving. If you don’t have the basics right at the outset, people will abandon your site at the very first step - and you’ll have to work doubly hard to get them to come back.”

During the recent “Click Frenzy” phenomenon people signed up in droves but the technology couldn’t support the numbers. “While it’s easy to see why the concept has been successful overseas, it also clearly shows us customer experience online is critical,” he says.

Fifty-four per cent of customers surveyed thought Australian retailers should offer the same prices as overseas. “While clearly important, price is not the end game,” Rolland says.

Customers want Australian stores to have ‘shorter delivery times’ (51 per cent) and to reduce hidden costs/fees (47 per cent).

When judging the success of online shopping sites, the key was having a range of products (48 per cent) followed by cheaper/reasonable/lowest prices.

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