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Food & liquor retailers need to lift online, mobile sales efforts

The shift to online shopping is gaining momentum in Australia but food and liquor retailers still have plenty of work to do, the first edition of the CommBank Retail Insights Report has revealed.

The report draws on an in-depth survey of more than 500 retailers around the country, across clothing and footwear, food and liquor, homewares and hardwares, and other retail, combined with an analysis of more than $3 billion in online spend made on CommBank credit cards.

According to the CommBank Retail Insights Report, 71 per cent of retailers surveyed are generating sales online, including 14 per cent which are pureplay businesses. These figures are set to rise steadily over the next five years, with retailers forecasting online sales to grow 20 per cent over the year ahead to reach an average of nearly 40 per cent of sales by 2020.

“The Australian mobile and online retail market remains relatively immature. skewed towards the under-30s, with ample scope for future growth,” Jerry Macey, national manager, retail industry, Business and Private Banking at CommBank, said.

“That means there are still opportunities for retailers to benefit from a growing market, even if they have been relatively slow to establish a strong online presence.”

Food and liquor insights 

More than a third of food and liquor retailers surveyed expect general business conditions to improve, while one in five forecast a decline. The report revealed that the food and liquor sector still largely remains a bricks and mortar business. Around 59 per cent of food and liquor retailers make sales online, and expect to make 31 per cent of total sales online by 2020.

The study also found that food and liquor has one of the lowest rates of mobile sales with 14 per cent made on a mobile device. While clothing and footwear outperforms other channels online, food and liquor leads the way in effective use of data analytics.

59 per cent of multi-channel food and liquor businesses have integrated digital with bricks and mortar teams, while 51 per cent believe their business puts data insights into practice effectively.

Social media is the top investment priority for the industry with 51 per cent naming it a top focus, followed by loyalty programs, 36 per cent; personalistion, 31 per cent; and data and analytics, 29 per cent.

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Source: CommBank Retail Insights Report

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