Customer Experience Featured Article

Australia Businesses Becoming Omnichannel

August 28, 2014

A recent report concerning the state of the Australian economy suggests that it was largely shielded from the financial crisis of the late 2000s. As a result, there was not a lot of growth in digital, online sales because the economy was functioning just fine without it. In the past couple years, however, there has been a surge in the amount of online marketing and sales that companies are completing, and although digital sales are not yet making up the majority of overall sales for many retailers, digital is still proving to be a necessary part of their economic growth.

BRW, an Australian business magazine, describes the retail landscape of the country through the lens of The Australian Interactive Media Industry Association Retail Research Report that was released this year. It compares the findings of the 2011 report with the findings of this year's report, and through that comparison, it found that businesses have a strong distaste for the work "omnichannel" and that their intentions to deliver quality products in a myriad ways is paying off regarding the bottom line.

In particular, BRW quotes one retailer as saying that omnichannel is one term among many, and that the most important thing is to pay attention to consumers' expectations.

"Now customers expect to be able to research on their mobile, maybe even buy on the device, or at least then go to the store the next day and look at the product," the retailer said. "There is an expectation for how retailers deliver on these channels, that is what's important - we need to take commercial advantage of these expectations."

Yes, customers are looking for the omnichannel experience, but not all retailers apparently want to dive into terminology. TMC (News - Alert) noted earlier this year that there is enough terminology floating around to confuse even the most tech-savvy industry veterans. What matters is the customer. To that end -- to the satisfaction of all customers -- Australian businesses are propping themselves up with online retail more than they ever have been, and it is paying off.

Another interviewee noted in the report said, "We're not 50 percent of the business but our contribution to sales growth is significantly more than our sales as a percentage of the overall sales." That person's business is reportedly growing faster than it would have without online retail, so it makes less of a difference how much of the sales are coming through digital. The digital realm is helping the company grow overall, and customers are receiving service in an omnichannel fashion without retailers specifically calling it that.

They are simply meeting customers where they are and in ways they understand. Whether its through social media, voice, video, texting, or in-store service, people are getting what they want, and the percentage that want online retail are getting their piece of the pie, too.

The AIMIA Retail Research Report can be found here.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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