Web fuels change in Australia

07 December 2010

SYDNEY: The vast majority of Australian consumers are interested in buying products directly from manufacturers using the internet, posing a significant challenge to online retailers.

Based on a survey of 1,000 people, research firm TNS found 94% of contributors would like to obtain goods straight from the brand owner in at least one category.

Totals reached 60% regarding the travel sector, measured against 55% concerning computers and hardware, and 50% for both home appliances and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Scores hit 49% when purchasing apparel and 42% for shoes, with cosmetics and grooming on 41%, food on 37%, alcohol on 33%, fragrances and perfumes on 30% and automotive on 29%.

Elsewhere, 39% of those polled were keen to acquire products via embedded stores hosted on Facebook, the social network, including 50% of 16-34 year olds.

A further 20% of Australians now browse the web every day looking for goods and services, TNS added.

"Brands don't necessarily need retailers online, with brands able to close the loop and reach anyone, at any time," said Jonathan Sinton, executive director of digital research at TNS.

"The travel industry went through this change ten years ago, when the airlines started selling direct to the consumer.

"Ultimately, success in online retailing will come down to understanding the purchase cycle, identifying the key points of influence and making an effort to dominate these."

Data sourced from TNS; additional content by Warc staff