What’s in store for retail?

What’s in store for retail?
Image courtesy of www.howshopping.org.

Image courtesy of www.howshopping.org.

Whilst one original research investigates retailers’ technology plans and organisational goals, another reveals that e-consumers don’t mind buying overseas.

Retailers’ plans

Retail cloud services company SPS Commerce has released a targeted Australian retail sector report.

The Australian report reveals the supply chain opportunities and challenges currently experienced by retailers, consumer products brands, and logistics firms. The report reviews companies’ plans to integrate omni-channel capabilities to their operations and what technology projects will be commenced in the next 12 months. One major finding is that retailer and manufacturer technology plans are under threat, with committed projects at risk of failure or non-completion in the absence of re-prioritisation of technology plans and top management focus.

The report is based on original research conducted with a broad set of Australian retailers, distributors, brands, and logistics professionals. Analysing in-depth surveys of this group, the report provides a snapshot of expectations for the coming year and provides a roadmap for organisations seeking to enhance their omni-channel capabilities.

The Australian Retail Insight benchmark study revealed the following about the Australian retail industry:

  • 76% of retailers are confident that mobile sales will increase significantly in the next 36 months, and 82% believe that these sales will be multiplied if supply chain visibility is achieved.
  • 41% have committed business intelligence projects to come online before year’s end.
  • 82% want innovative delivery options (same-day, store-to-door, returns) this year.
  • 47% want to have a greater range of attributes available in the next 12 months

But just under half the retailers have visibility into their supplier’s warehouse, and just over half have visibility into their store.

Just 7% of Australian companies believe that they are ‘advanced’ when it comes to omni-channel, and 40% believe they’re lagging.

“Omni-channel is about profitably building the next generation of consumer service, and execution is apparently harder than the ecosystem expected it to be,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Retail Systems Research (RSR). “Retailers, suppliers and logistics providers need to move quickly to satisfy a consumer who has a seemingly endless array of choices and not a lot of patience. Whilst everyone is heads-down, particularly in figuring out the supply chain side of the omni channel equation, no one should lose sight of the consumer.”

The RSR Australia 2016 Retail Insights report is available for download from SPS Commerce.

 

Online shoppers watching dollar fluctuations

  • More than half say exchange rates impact their purchase decisions.
  • Price and product range are the key drivers for buying overseas.
  • Shipping and delivery gripes are holding back shoppers from purchasing more internationally.

A new national survey shows that Australians are a savvy breed of online shoppers, with more than half (57%) saying the currency exchange rate has ‘some impact’ or a ‘significant impact’ on whether they choose to buy goods from overseas.

The independent research, commissioned by Australian couriering and logistics franchise PACK & SEND, revealed that more than three quarters (78%) of Australians surveyed buy goods online from overseas and many are happy to be disloyal to national e-tailers and eBay sellers if it means they can get a better price or more choice internationally.

  • 53% said the items they purchase are cheaper to buy from overseas.
  • 37% agreed there is a better range of products to choose from internationally.
  • 29% said the items they purchase are hard to find in Australia.
  • 19% said there is a better range of brands to choose from overseas.
  • 28% said they purchase equally from national and international e-tailers.
  • Only a fifth (22%) said they don’t buy items online from overseas.

Younger age groups were more likely to say they purchase goods from overseas because there is a better range of products to choose from (49% of those aged 18-24 and 25-34, and 44% of those aged 35-44). They’re also more likely to buy from international e-tailers because there is a better selection of brands to choose from (31% of 18-24 year olds) or because the items they purchase aren’t available in Australia (41% of 18-24 year olds).

CEO of PACK & SEND Australia Michael Paul said: “It’s especially surprising to see how closely Aussie shoppers watch the dollar fluctuations – this could really create an ebb and flow in sales for many Australian retailers.

“It’s clear how difficult it is for e-tailers and eBay sellers to solely rely on domestic shoppers to maintain their revenue stream as they chop and change who they buy from depending on price and range. The low Aussie dollar creates an opportune environment for Aussie e-tailers to consider opening up their shipping channels internationally to balance out revenue between domestic and overseas customers,” said Mr Paul.

Despite the benefits of shopping online with overseas etailers, Australians still have shipping gripes that are actually holding them back from buying even more from overseas:

  • 27% blame uncertainty over delivery times.
  • A quarter (26%) have concerns over whether their parcels will arrive.
  • A fifth (21%) have concerns over getting accurate shipping costs.

Mr Paul said: “Many Australian e-tailers are innovating and providing world class logistics for customers on a national scale. If they decide to take the leap and start shipping internationally – whether they’re a large e-tailer or solo eBay seller – it’s important their international shipping is first class, too.

“Many of our customers started selling nationally via eBay and now have successful international businesses and a much healthier and more consistent revenue stream,” said Mr Paul.

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