E-commerceAlmost half (49 per cent) of Australian businesses expect online operations to reach parity with bricks-and-mortar retail sales by 2030, according to new research by Australia Post. Rebecca Burrows, Australia Post general manager of segment development and marketing, noted that consumer habits have changed significantly over the past few years. “People want an in-store experience, but in the comfort of their own living room – they want to see, touch and try,” she said. “Leading retailers are also embracing mobile commerce and voice-activated shopping. It is those in tune with customers and willing to embrace the latest online technology trends that will have the winning strategy.” Burrow noted that technology trends, such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence-driven personalisation and biometric payments, are beginning to bridge the gap between online and offline retail, and are shaping the way customers shop. Changing consumer trends are not simply relegated to the use of technology, however, with the rise of subscription service also having made a significant impact on the way a retailer offers its service to customers.According to a recent survey by Harris Poll, on behalf of subscription management platform provider Zuora, Australians now average 2. 5 subscription services – with Zuora vice-president Iman Ghosdosi calling it the “end of ownership.” Fashion-tech company GlamCorner tapped into this phenomenon last year, with the launch of a monthly subscription box that gives customers access to three pieces of designer clothing each month for formal occasions, workwear or everyday wear. “The service is growing at an exponential rate,” GlamCorner co-founder and CEO Dean Jones said, “contributing significantly to the 30 tonnes of clothing we process each month.” “As a result, our customers are telling us their wardrobes are shrinking, while they still have a fresh new look every day.” Australia Post surveyed almost 1000 small to medium sized Australian business across retail, manufacturing, logistics, financial services, education, health and utilities.