There's no doubting that Aussie shoppers still love shopping in stores.

But after a year unlike any other, when many people have tried online shopping for the first time, what does the future hold for bricks and mortar retail? In our new free report, which you can download here, we take a look at just that question.

ABS data tells us that physical retail is still overwhelmingly dominant in Australia. Despite everything that has happened over the last year, 90% of all retail dollars are still spent in physical stores. And while we've seen a big increase for online over the last year, it's clear that stores are not going away any time soon.

Australian retailers continue to embrace an omnichannel approach, integrating online and offline channels to offer the best of both worlds to their customers. Our research found that customers increasingly expect this, and see less of a distinction between channels. In the report, we look at the role that the store can play as part of this wider retail ecosystem, and how stores can take advantage of their strengths, such as the ability for customers to try out products themselves.

We also look at what the data says about which aspects of in-store shopping are most important to customers, as well as which negative aspects risk turning them away.

The Great Data Divide

Whatever happens to the future store, one issue that bricks and mortar retailers will inevitably have to grapple with is the disconnect between the wealth of customer data that is available for online channels versus the relative paucity of information about the customer journey that is typically available for in-store purchases.

While many bricks and mortars stores may have basic foot traffic data, it is unlikely to have the same depth of information as their online channels. Retailers may have access to Point of Sale data and maybe loyalty data, but this is often stored across disparate systems, making it hard to pick up the important signals in the data and take timely actions in response. That's where a system like WingArc Retail Analytics comes in to its own. Our platform can bridge the gap between online and offline channels, bringing information such as traffic trends, conversion rates, dwell times by category, and customer demographics to the physical store.

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Matt Armstrong

View posts by Matt Armstrong
With over two decades' experience in the technology industry, Matt is WingArc Australia's manager of marketing and communications.

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