Aussies are a nation of online deal-hunters

7 November, 2014


Purchasing decisions driven by customer reviews and consumer advocacy sites

The majority of Australians are active online deal-hunters, with more than eight out of 10 reading email alerts or updates on special deals (85.8 per cent) and more than three- quarters searching for promotions or discount codes (77.5 per cent).

The Bankwest Online Behaviour Report, the latest instalment in the Bankwest Financial Indicator Series, revealed the majority (55.4 per cent) of online Australian shoppers are looking for the best deal, rather than engagement with preferred brands. Paradoxically, more than half (54.2 per cent) of respondents believe that offering special deals is a way for brands to increase online engagement with their customers.

Stay-at-home parents have the greatest appetite for online deals, with the study finding this group the most likely to read email alerts or updates on special deals (90.0 per cent) and search for promotions or discount codes (87.5 per cent) at least sometimes.

The Report also highlights that Australian online consumers are heavily influenced by customer reviews. Almost four in five (77.8 per cent) respondents are likely to commit to a purchase decision after reading a favourable brand review online. In comparison, close to three in four (74.2 per cent) are deterred from a purchase decision after reading a negative online brand review.

Further highlighting the power of consumers in online purchases of products and services, consumer advocate organisations (90.1 per cent), comparison sites (74.6 per cent) and peer review sites (68.4 per cent) are most likely to be trusted by and influence Australians.

“Never before has the customer had so much power. And never before has the online world been so complex for retailers,” said Andrew Whitechurch, Bankwest Executive General Manager, Retail. “Today’s customers have become sales people, while aggregator sites have become the product catalogues of this generation. Gone are the days where the majority of purchase decisions were driven by brand preference and traditional marketing.”

The data revealed Australians are more likely to go online rather than in store for everyday items (74.6 per cent compared to 25.4 per cent). They are also more likely to visit online stores for items as they are needed instead of “retail therapy” (77.3 per cent compared to 22.7 per cent). Overall, Australians shy away from significant online purchases, with 73.8 per cent preferring to purchase small items (for example, a toaster) and only 26.2 per cent favouring larger purchases (for example, a television).

Generation Y is the most prolific online shopping generation, with this age group being the most likely to go online at least monthly to browse for information on and purchase discount discretionary items (64.8 per cent and 42.6 per cent respectively), as well as to browse for information on and purchase luxury discretionary items (53.3 per cent and 25.4 per cent respectively).

Generation Y is also the generation of deal-hunters, being the most likely to read email alerts or updates on special deals at least sometimes (90.2 per cent) and search for promotions or discount codes at least sometimes (88.5 per cent).

“On the whole, we know time-poor consumers now look to online retail as a way to shop for everyday items more conveniently,” Mr Whitechurch said. “But it is interesting to note the online shopping preferences of Gen Y, who, for example, are more willing to purchase luxury discretionary items online. The lesson we learn is to know your customer. The online retailers who focus their offering around the preferences and values of their customer demographic will successfully differentiate themselves in an increasingly cluttered market.”

Additional key findings:
  • Online advertisements are an effective way of driving traffic and purchases, with a large majority of respondents visiting a website or a store based on an advertisement (85.5 per cent) and purchasing an item based on an advertisement (75.9 per cent) at least sometimes.
  • Females are the more likely online shoppers, turning to the Internet at least monthly for information on discount discretionary items (54.4 per cent vs. 41.1 per cent) and purchasing these items (26.4 per cent vs. 20.6 per cent).
  • Females are slightly more likely to go online at least monthly for information on more luxury discretionary items (37.4 per cent vs. 33.9 per cent) and purchasing these items (16.0 per cent vs. 15.4 per cent), as well as for purchasing non-discretionary items (21.9 per cent vs. 18.5 per cent).
  • Females are also the more likely online deal hunters, being more likely than males to read email alerts or updates on special deals (88.2 per cent vs. 83.8 per cent) and search for promotions or discount codes (80.5 per cent vs. 75.0 per cent) at least sometimes.
Part of Bankwest’s Financial Indicator Series, the Bankwest Online Behaviour Report assesses the ways in which Australians engage with various brands online and explores the drivers of online interaction. The research was carried out by CoreData via an online survey sent to Australians aged 18 years and over between 30th July and 13th August, 2014. Nationwide, 950 individuals were anonymously surveyed, all of whom use the internet.

More detailed analysis, data and tables are contained within the Bankwest Online Behaviour Report, which is available at www.bankwest.com.au.


For more information contact:
Katherine Grima
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
(02) 9268 1259
0413 647 395
Katherine.Grima@hkstrategies.com

Russell Quinn
Bankwest Media Manager
0477 329 447
russell.quinn@bankwest.com.au

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