In-store retail undergoes hybrid transformation

As a nation, Australians are incredibly active social media users, online shoppers, and tend to embrace new technologies with open arms.

A new study released this week by Neilson, which compared Australian technology uptake in 2003 versus 2013, revealed the extent of the transformation.

Some 82 per cent of the population now spends an average of 23.3 hours online each week. This figure increased by 3.5 times that of a decade ago, when 73 per cent of the population spent 6.7 hours online per week.

These days, more than a third of online Australians own connected devices that didn’t exist 10 years ago, and 38 per cent of households have four or more internet enabled devices.

“Australians have adapted aggressively to the changing media landscape, consuming considerably more media across more devices over the past ten years,” Melanie Ingrey, Cross-Platform Research Director at Nielsen said. “When we look at how consumers obtained information and engaged with brands 10 years ago, it’s as if we’re looking at an entirely different industry playing field today,” she added.

The online migration has left an indelible mark on business, and bricks and mortar retail versus online shopping is one example of the transformation.

This week, the launch of a new online resource proves the battleground is ripe for innovation.

Fashion retailers have partnered with shopping giant Westfield to create a so-called ‘Searchable Mall’.

The feature is essentially an online destination which helps shoppers find what they want in a Westfield shopping centre, and buy that product either in-store or online.

“The Searchable Mall is the first of many global digital initiatives, enabled by Westfield Labs, which embraces the use of technology to better connect the digital shopper with our physical shopping malls,” Steven Lowy, Co-CEO, Westfield Group said.

Lowy said the platform has been created in order to influence traffic and sales, both in-stores and online.

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