Online shopping is not niche and no fad with Australia’s largest independent consumer survey of new products finding a whopping eight in 10 (83%) of household shoppers buying goods and services over the internet in the past 12 months.
Seven thousand Australian consumers were polled by Product of the Year to identify the most innovative new products to hit supermarket shelves across 28 categories and to uncover key attitudes and behaviours when shopping.
CDs, DVDs and books were the most popular purchases with 45% of Australian consumers admitting to shelling out for them online, followed by tickets to movies, shows and concerts and clothes which were bought by 41% of shoppers.
Almost four in ten Australians (38%) have bought air tickets, 28% have purchased cosmetics or nutrition supplies, 24% have shopped for groceries and 23% have bought financial services such as insurance online.
Big items like electronic equipment and household appliances were purchased by 21% and 19% of those surveyed respectively while 17% scored computer games online.
Product of the Year director and mother of two, Sarah Connelly, said women are the main purchasers of entertainment items, clothes, flights, cosmetics and groceries online, while men are the dominant acquirers of financial services, electronic equipment, household appliances and computer games.
“Groceries are the most regularly purchased items online followed by clothes and cosmetic and nutrition supplies,” she said.
“Online shopping is big business but when it comes to new products Australian consumers are nervous about buying something they haven’t used before, especially grocery items. However when that new product has been endorsed by thousands of other consumers, as is the case with Product of the Year,
consumer confidence increases strongly with 43% saying they would part with their hard-earned cash via a website.”
Almost every Australian consumer (94%) buys house brands as least occasionally and for most (70%) they offer a good value for money option with 57% believing they deliver similar quality to independent brands. However they may not take over the supermarket with four in 10 household shoppers (39%) claiming that having many house brand products on the shelf reduces choice.
Around two thirds (63%) say Australian made is an important characteristic when choosing products to buy compared to half (52%) who rate environmentally friendly packaging, 48% favouring products which are ethically delivered and 46% voting for items with a low environmental impact. Only 27% of consumers rate a product’s organic status.
Ms Connelly said the research showed consumers link supporting Aussie made products with helping local businesses, but not necessarily with high quality or good value for money, so it may not always result in purchase at the check-out.
“Environmental and ethical factors are much less important and ‘organic’ is still fairly niche,” she said.
Product of the Year is Australia’s largest independent consumer survey of new products designed to reward innovation in consumer products across a range of categories. The ultimate purpose is to provide shoppers with a symbol that guides them to the best products in category backed by the confidence of 7,000 others just like them.
To see a full list of the 2012 Product of the Year winners, click here.