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Back-to-office trend spurs increased in-store shopping
Wed, 6th Mar 2024

The recent Australian Shopper Preference Report by Bazaarvoice has revealed that Australian workers are spearheading a back-to-office trend, not seen in other affluent nations. With 71% stating they have returned to their conventional workplaces at least partially during the week, this has had a notable influence on in-store shopping.

The research, which surveyed over a thousand Australians, demonstrated the link between returning to workplaces and an elevated spending trend in physical stores, with 55% drawing the connection. It revealed that 51% of Australians spend more on in-store purchases, while 27% saw no significant discrepancy between online and physical retail spending, and the remainder reported spending more online.

Australia is at the forefront globally, with over 70% of its workers returning to the office compared to other nations. This reappearance to physical workplaces is having a significant impact on in-store shopping trends.

In addition, the research unveiled that, despite the escalating importance of sustainability, the cost of living crisis outweighs consumers' sustainable purchase decisions. Evidence of this was reflected in the statistic that more than two-thirds (69%) buy at least part of their clothing from fast-fashion retailers, a higher percentage than all other surveyed nations.

The report also offered insights into Australian consumers' shopping habits, interaction with retailers, and purchase channels. In a competitive retail landscape, understanding the underpinning reasons behind customers' conduct is essential, particularly as Australians grapple with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Moreover, the study shows 22% of Australians make purchases based on social media promotions monthly, which spikes to 43% for consumers aged between 24 and 34. Half of Australians have admitted to buying a product after watching a video of it on social media, highlighting the favouring of visual content in product discovery by 61% of consumers over still images (22%).

In relation to brand loyalty, quality (47%) trumps price (44%) as the main factor influencing brand fidelity amongst consumers. Even though brand values rank low in the considerations list, 90% of Australian respondents regard a brand's reputation for reliability and trustworthiness as impacting their loyalty to a certain extent, with only 8% dismissing its importance entirely.

Almost half of Australians (46%) primarily use their smartphones for online purchases, trailed by laptops (34%), and tablets (7%). Conversely, a small percentage (12%) avoid online purchases altogether, suggesting Australian shoppers have a mixed preference for their media of choice for making online purchases.

Kate Musgrove, Managing Director for APAC at Bazaarvoice, provided further comment on the study. She noted that the research highlights the evolving nature of Australians' spending habits due to a variety of influencing factors and pinpoints the necessity for brands and retailers to maintain consistency and accessibility across multiple channels to cater effectively to these assorted consumer preferences. She added, "By aligning with shopper preferences and ensuring a seamless shopping experience, brands and retailers can ensure customers keep returning."