AUSTRALIANS continue to flock to online shopping as a convenient retail option, but it’s not just fashion brands that are benefiting, exclusive new research reveals.
The annual Mastercard Online Shopping Behaviour Study canvassed 1000 Australians and found supermarket websites were the most visited (53 per cent), followed by travel (48 per cent), airlines (45 per cent) and clothing retailers (44 per cent).
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Users predominantly logged on to check promotions and deals (49 per cent), while 23 per cent did so to make a purchase, according to Mastercard area head Claire Shoemake.
“Supermarkets have been promoting online shopping a lot and people often go there to look at (specials),” Ms Shoemake said. “Price is a big reason to look at shopping online and of course the convenience of having everything delivered too.”
Ms Shoemake identified room for growth in the online shopping space in Australia, with 45 per cent of browsers going on to make a purchase- up five per cent from last year- compared to 75 per cent in China.
“The main reason for accessing the web is to browse, but there has been an increase in those purchasing,” Ms Shoemake said.
“Those who say they will continue to shop online is up from two years ago and the trend is that people are trusting online purchases more.”
Those who had not shopped online preferred shopping physically in store (53 per cent) or could not find anything interesting (48 per cent). Around one third did not trust payment security, which Ms Shoemake said provided an ongoing educational challenge.
“Mastercard has zero liability for purchases made online,” she said, explaining that meant that shoppers who were victims of fraud or theft would be refunded their money.
A separate Finder.com.au study suggested a number of shoppers engaged in “showrooming”, where they visit a physical store to check out a product and then look for it online for a cheaper price.
“Many of us still like to check out what we’re buying or try it out in store, but whether we buy it then and there is a different story,” Finder.com.au spokeswoman Bessie Hassan said. “All it takes is a five minute Google on our phones to see if it’s cheaper elsewhere.”
Digital professional Sarah Tu, 24, regularly buys retail items online and also makes travel purchases. She has no concerns around security.
“A lot of modern technology is responsible for safeguarding these concerns,” Ms Tu said. “It’s good that you’ve got that security.”
She has had mostly positive experiences since beginning to shop online more regularly when landing full time work a few years back.
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“There was one experience where an item didn’t come on time for a wedding, but the customer service was great,” she said. “They apologised and gave me a refund and a gift voucher. I think companies are competitive in that sense these days because they know how important the experience is.”