Inside Logistics

Australian retailers lag in omnichannel

Only 34 percent have inventory visibility

March 7, 2019

TORONTO – Australia is lagging in its e-c0mmerce omnichannel development.

New research by OrderDynamics, a Tecsys company, reveals that 31.4 per cent of Australian retailers offer buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS). Comparatively, 64.0 per cent of UK retailers offer click and collect services today.

However, most retailers in Australia have an active e-commerce business, at 84.3 per cent. This is on par with the global average of 86.3 per cent found in OrderDynamics’s Omni-2000: Global Research.

Based on results from the seven countries surveyed, it is clear that omni-channel in Australia is still developing. To progress, Australian retailers are prioritizing advertising BOPIS, educating customers through FAQs and promoting pickup notifications.

Out of 299 Australia-based retailers with a minimum of 10 stores, key findings include:

  • 53.2 per cent of omni-channel retailers offer basic, active inventory visibility
  • 14.0 per cent of retailers provide free return deliveries
  • 47.8 per cent of retailers offer Buy Online Return In-Store
  • 74.5 per cent of omni-channel retailers advertise BOPIS on their web page
  • 94.7 per cent of omni-channel retailers provide Click and Collect FAQs

While results prove Australia is progressing as a balanced and developing market of omni-channel capabilities, this pace needs to accelerate.

In accordance with the emerging trend of social media as a retail channel, Australian shoppers are similarly gravitating toward this option. However, most retailers are missing out on the opportunity as only 5.3 per cent of omni-channel retailers sell on Instagram.

Active inventory visibility, highlighting if an item is in-stock or out-of-stock online, is also declining at an alarming rate. Of Australian retailers surveyed, only 33.8 per cent show basic, active inventory visibility. Decreased visibility remains a global problem among retailers. This is important because it heightens the chance of losing customers to another retailer’s site.

“The market in Australia holds quite a bit of potential for omni-channel,” said Nick McLean, president, OrderDynamics. “While opportunities for growth are apparent, many retailers are making significant advances. It will be exciting to see how this trend evolves in 2019.”