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Photo: ©Syda Productions/123RF.COM

Photo: ©Syda Productions/123RF.COM

THE number of consumers who shopped online in 2013 was higher than the number of those who did online banking. In fact, if you’re a retailer, chances are that nine in 10 (89 per cent) of your consumers purchased a product online last year.

Further to this, six in 10 online Australians now use a combination of both online and traditional retail stores as part of their product research or purchase process. These ‘new retail’ behaviours are emerging as digital and physical retail stores converge.

Online research converts into both online and offline purchases. Results from the newly released 2014 Nielsen Connected Consumers Report show that online (research)-to-online (purchase) has the best conversion for printed books, clothing and digital music; while online-to-offline best converts grocery, liquor, restaurant, clothing and pharmacy item purchase.

Mobile connected devices such as smartphones and tablets are aiding this ‘new retail’ movement, broadening the reach of brands and retailers by facilitating anywhere, anytime shopping and blurring the lines between what constitutes online versus offline shopping.

More than one in 10 online Australian shoppers use their smartphone to make a purchase and the same proportion purchase via tablet (13 per cent).

Focusing on key purchasing dynamics within the wine category to illustrate this trend, the report shows that just over one in 10 (13 per cent) consumers purchased wine online in the past six months – on par with the number of consumers who buy their food and groceries online.

While the number of consumers buying wine online may be relatively low, they are an important customer segment – they are likely to spend twice as much as those who purchase in-store.

Dan Murphy’s, Woolworths Online and eBay are popular wine destinations for young consumers, while Cellarmasters is the most popular online purchase point for the oldest segment.

Gray’s Online is also a popular source for men, and in fact, heavy online wine buyers skew heavily toward males.

Looking at categories purchased online, wine is the least likely category to be purchased via a mobile phone.

This identifies an opportunity for retailers and brands to consider their in-store opportunities to connect with mobile consumers as well as the out of store opportunities while consumers are on the go.

Online research converts into both online and offline purchases. Among people who research wine online, one third go on to purchase wine online in the same 30 day period, while one quarter of online researchers go on to buy wine in-store.

This highlights the role of the online channel not only as a method of distribution, but a valuable marketing tool in driving wine-buyers into your store.

Source: 2014 Nielsen Australian Connected Consumers Report