New report provides a “wake up call” for Australian retailers.

A new Deloitte report examines how the ‘digital influence factor’ affects decision making instore. It says Global brands have educated Australian consumers to expect internationally competitive pricing, an endless aisle and greater shopping convenience. Digital will soon be the deciding success factor in retail – and the major area where catch-up needs to occur is in-store delivery of digital.

Thew report found 65 per cent of customers use a digital device before shopping and 31 per cent while shopping. Further, 47 per cent will use their device to compare products, 42 per cent to access product information and 33 per cent to check product availability.

“In our Retail Review Christmas Survey, we found just a third of Australian retailers citing omni-channel as their number one strategic priority,” said David White, Deloitte partner and retail industry leader. “The findings from this digital divide report should be a wake-up call for the retail sector which is at risk of underestimating local consumer appetite for digital engagement. Global brands have educated Australian consumers to expect internationally competitive pricing, an endless aisle and greater shopping convenience. Digital will soon be the deciding success factor in retail.”

According to the report, when consumers use digital devices to research, find and compare products before of after shopping in-store, it boosts the average conversion rate by 25 per cent, and increases shoppers’ order sizes by 21 per cent on average.

From the research, Deloitte proposes five changes retailers may need to make:

  • Reimagine the customer experience – to offer a relevant and personalised experience throughout the customer journey through a deep understanding of customer preferences and shopping behaviours.
  • Reset pricing strategy – to allow greater speed and flexibility in setting and changing prices to attract customers and maintain margins.
  • Rethink the supply chain – to expand ranges without the associated cost, improve delivery convenience to customers and create cost efficiencies in the value chain.
  • Redefine the role of the store – to blend the physical and digital experience more seamlessly and reconsider the purpose of the store in the shopping journey or experience.
  • Reinvent the in-store employee experience – to bridge the current digital gap in the in-store experience.