Owing to its island geography, it’s not too surprising that Australian shoppers’ goods are delivered from other countries. However, the fact that approximately 70 % of online consumers make purchases from abroad makes Australia’s share of cross-border shoppers one of the world’s highest.

With a population of tech-savvy and digitally mature consumers, mobile e-commerce is growing fast and statistics show that about 30 % of smart phone and tablet users have made online purchases via their devices. And when it comes to digital gadgets, Australians are not lacking – 49 % own more than five devices such as computers, smart phones and tablets. Of course, these devices also want to be purchased and then put to good use, and 65 % of its 20 million inhabitants older than 15 years are online consumers.

Australian e-commerce and cross-border shoppingWhen ordering from abroad, Australians usually need not worry about import or duty taxes. Foreign purchases are exempted from tax up to a value of AUD 1000, making online bargain-hunting overseas quite attractive. Other reasons Australian e-commerce shoppers buy cross-border is a bigger product selection and availability than what they can get at home. Currently, the US, UK and China are the most favored overseas markets. The dominant categories for cross-border shopping are Books, CDs, Clothing & Footwear, Digital Cameras and Cosmetics.

Australian consumers have come to accept that cross-border deliveries will have a longer delivery time. On the other hand, however, they are quite sensitive to costs associated with delivery. Most cross-border shoppers expect low-cost delivery as well as free returns. Card payments are most common, with around 85 % of Australian online consumers preferring to pay with credit or debit card.

Key Statistics

Population: 24 million
Language: English
Currency: Dollar (AUD)
GDP: USD 1.24 trillion
Internet Penetration: 85%

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link

Part 3 of 6
Consumers, especially in more mature e-commerce markets, are making ever-clearer demands that they themselves should be able to have influence over how their orders are delivered. Satisfying consumers’ wishes is becoming a business-critical issue for e-tailers. “Customer obsession” is an expression you often hear today, and the winners will be those companies that best meet the consumers’ demands.

Choosing delivery point easily by mobileOne of the most critical challenges today lies in the fact that the consumer has power throughout the purchasing sequence right up until delivery, but the power often ends there. Many sellers have not given the consumer the opportunity to control the delivery. When consumers do get the option of influencing delivery by selecting a delivery method and choosing where, when and how delivery will take place – and perhaps can adjust delivery even after check-out – then the logistics are working and can contribute to an even stronger relationship between the buyer and seller.

We have put together six recommendations that can help form the view of how consumer-driven logistics should be developed in order to strengthen the consumer’s buying experience. The third follows below.

Recommendation 3 – give a choice of delivery points

The service-minded retailer should be able to offer a choice of delivery points. Today’s consumers want deliveries to fit into their daily lives, and they expect everything to go as smoothly as possible. What they need from a delivery varies depending on what they buy, when they buy it and how important the purchase is to them. The closest delivery point may not always be the most suitable.

Being able to choose appropriate delivery points for each purchase makes a significant difference in a customer’s satisfaction. The ability and freedom to choose between delivery to home, workplace, a service point or another person for each order is a very important variable.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link

This is the third recommendation, out of six, that can help form the view of how consumer-driven logistics should be developed in order to strengthen the consumer’s buying experience. Part 1 was about clear and simple delivery options , and part 2 recommended offering a choice of delivery options.

In our previous blog post you could read about very promising results for retail e-commerce sales numbers in global cross-border markets. Recent retail reports from Adobe and Deloitte* are predicting very promising results for online e-commerce in the U.S. this holiday season. Here is a quick look at some of the numbers from the reports.

Adobe’s Major Findings:

  • Projecting online shoppers to spend $107,4 billion USD between Nov. 1st and Dec. 31st
  • Year-over-year growth of 13,8% versus the same time period last year.
  • The 5-day stretch from Thanksgiving (Nov. 23rd) through Cyber Monday (Nov. 27th) is accounting for 18.3% ($19.7 billion USD) of total $107.4 billion USD projection.
  • 54% of all retail site visits during this time period will occur on mobile devices, topping desktop visits which will only account for 46% of visits.

Deloitte’s Major Findings:

  • Projecting online shoppers to spend  around $110 billion USD between Nov. 1st and Jan. 31st
  • Year-over-year growth of 18-21% Deloitte versus the same time period last year.

men talking about e-commerce and mobile shoppingAn important conclusion to draw based on these findings, is that E-commerce companies must continue to find ways to set themselves apart from competitors to drive growth and take home their share of the profits during the Holiday season. While this year’s record breaking online holiday shopping season is almost certainly built on the strength of several big players (with wide selections, easy shopping experiences and an increase in the free shipping model), there are still opportunities for savvy small retailers to win their share of online shoppers’ attention – specifically with the mobile experience.

As our October article “Tipping Point for Retail Has Arrived” stated, “Technology evolves quickly and changes in the retail industry are happening at a rapid pace.” We will see that one of the key driving forces for change in e-commerce this holiday season, and beyond, will certainly be use of mobile devices for online purchases.

As a global delivery partner, Direct Link realizes that as more consumers across the globe become comfortable and experienced at shopping online, they will shift more of their holiday spend online while expecting better service from their retailers. This creates both opportunities and challenges for retailers.

Austin Whittenberger – Regional Account Manager in the U.S.

* The Adobe and Deloitte reports are based on analysis from 1 trillion visits to over 4500 retail sites hosting around 55 million SKUs and also ties in analysis from 12 million social mentions and surveys from more than 1100 U.S. consumers.

The number of European consumers buying online is continuing to increase rapidly. For retailers, it is necessary to be able to monitor new trends and behaviors that are quickly emerging. Against this backdrop, PostNord has since 2014 produced its annual E-commerce in Europe report.

The survey this report is based on was conducted with 11 000 respondents in twelve European countries, and we are pleased to present new insights into the development of European E-commerce and to describe the differences and similarities between the various geographical markets. As part of PostNord, Direct Link uses its expertise and the PostNord network to help businesses establish themselves in new markets.

E-commerce in Europe 2017 page screenshotIn the past year, a total of 260 million consumers in the twelve markets surveyed bought physical goods online at a value of more than Euro 180 billion. Almost 70 %, or 186 million consumers, also made online purchases from abroad. The type of goods we buy online is changing somewhat as new categories become more popular on the Internet. Fashion, Home electronics and Books are still the most popular products, however, categories such as Health and Cosmetics products are gaining ground and show great potential for growth. The category with the largest variation among the different countries is Food shopping, and it will be highly interesting to watch developments going forward.

The report also reveals that more and more Europeans are shopping online from their mobiles. It is also clear that there are both major similarities and differences between the surveyed countries. This applies to everything from how consumers wants products delivered, how quickly, and to how they prefer to pay. For e-tailers, understanding and adapting their business to relevant local conditions is one of the keys to success.

Order the new “E-commerce in Europe” report for 12 European countries now.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link

Part 2 of 6
This is the second recommendation, out of six, that can help form the view of how consumer-driven logistics should be developed in order to strengthen the consumer’s buying experience. Part 1 was published 18 September.

Offer a choice: low cost, speed or exact timing

Customer in control of delivery optionsThe experience of the delivery should match the experience prior to purchase. For the consumer, delivery options mean a choice between speed, exact timing and cost. Freedom of choice, speed of delivery and timing are factors that determine whether a purchase is made. For most shoppers, purchases are not so urgent that express delivery is worth paying extra for. However, many consumers like to specify a specific delivery time at a particular place or in a particular manner to suit their daily routine. Not for much longer can e-tailers offer delivery within a broad span of 3 to 6 days. This will not be acceptable to a large number of consumers.

Consumers also want to know – at the time of purchase – how delivery speed and exact timing affect the price. They want to understand in advance what they are buying and paying for in terms of delivery, and regardless of what delivery option finally is chosen, consumers need to know at the time of purchase what the available choices are and what they will cost.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link