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As consumers return to offices, physical stores are eating into online sales

Brick-and-mortar spending by Australian consumers has increased on the back of more workers returning to the office, according to research from user-generated content platform Bazaarvoice.

The research shows that as 71 per cent of workers go back to working in a physical office for part of their week, 55 per cent of them are increasing their spending in brick-and-mortar stores.

The study also found that 51 per cent of Australians say they spend more on in-store purchases than online, while 27 per cent note no significant difference between online and in-store spending. A further 24 per cent spend more online.

In addition, the company found that 47 per cent of consumers prioritise quality over price as a factor in brand loyalty.

Around 45 per cent of the respondents said they never purchased items at thrift stores, charity shops, marketplaces, or second-hand platforms like Vinted and Depop

About 15 per cent claimed they engage in ‘retail therapy’ frequently, while 15 per cent said they cannot afford non-essential purchases.

Moreover, 60 per cent said they have bought private-label items, with 43 per cent having permanently switched some staple products to private-label alternatives and 19 per cent planning to do so in the future.

Nearly half, or 47 per cent, use their smartphones to purchase online while 12 per cent avoid buying online.

“This research underscores the ever-changing nature of Australians’ spending habits, which are influenced by a range of factors including financial, convenience, and personal preferences,” said Bazaarvoice MD for Asia Pacific Kate Musgrove.

“It also highlights the importance for brands and retailers to maintain consistency and accessibility across various channels to effectively serve these diverse consumer preferences. By aligning with shopper preferences and ensuring a seamless shopping experience, brands and retailers can ensure customers keep returning.”

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