Current Issue #488

Unpacking Local Retail: In-Store Experience Reigns Supreme for South Australians

Unpacking Local Retail: In-Store Experience Reigns Supreme for South Australians

South Australians shop online for convenience rather than price, a study by Bentleys SA and Business SA has discovered.

The study surveyed 206 shoppers and retailers to discover our modern shopping behaviour, unearthing that 50 per cent of South Australians acknowledge their shopping habits are changing with three-quarters of the shoppers surveyed admitting they are using more online channels. But the major reason as to why we shop online is due to convenience.

“You think people are going online for the pricing because things are supposed to be cheaper,” says Bentleys SA Managing Partner Michael Ruggiero. “But the number one reason for more than half of those who participated [they] indicated that they will shop online for convenience first. Lower prices are the second most important benefit of being online.”

Another major finding is that the in-store experience remains “extremely important” while only six per cent of South Australians rely on online services exclusively to purchase products.

“The majority [of those surveyed] prefer to buy products in-store and the main reason was the fact you can feel a product and try it [on], as well as things like customer service, the social aspect of shopping and having more confidence that the products would actually work because you’ve seen them physically. But those experiences, the term is experiential retail, those experiences of touching and feeling, customer service, enjoying the physical store – 84 per cent of our participants said they shop in stores for those experiential reasons. Nobody, not one person, said they shop in store for lower prices.”


Ruggerio says a major takeaway finding for South Australian retailers is that locals value the in-store experience.

“The retailers, before they worry too much about going online and catching up technologically, they need to ensure they are offering customers what they want: that they are merchandising properly, that their stores offer an experience that their customers will enjoy, that they get to know their customers, and that they get to build a relationship with their customer base. That’s the number one issue. If your customers don’t want your product, whether you’re selling it online or in-store, it makes absolutely no difference. If they don’t want it, they’re not going to want it online, they’re not going to want it in-store. The old rules of retailing still apply.

“The takeaway message from our survey is that customers want the physical experience and they want retailers to offer a very engaging experience for them.”

This article is sponsored by   Bentleys_Master_REV 2.2 x 0.94

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