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Price, availability pushing local consumers to look internationally

Google has noted a change in the volume of local searches of foreign brands and retailers, with key drivers of this trend including better availability, range and price.

In its submission to the Productivity Commission’s enquiry into the economic structure and performance of the Australian Retail Industry, Google said that whilst searches for foreign brands are still the minority, they have “somewhat increased their proportion over the past two years.”

“The drivers of online behaviour for consumers are typically availability, range and price and it is international retailers that have historically demonstrated better availability and range online,” the submission said.

According to Google, as a whole, retailers in the US and UK tend to have more information about products and brands online than local retailers, and so “the consumer demand for information – in the presence of a supply ‘gap’ from Australian retailers – is met by international and overseas retailers.”

Although the overwhelming number of Australians continue to show a preference for researching online and purchasing offline, Google said the changing balance of searches for domestic versus foreign retailers suggests consumers are increasingly willing to interact with overseas retailers.

“The rising trend of online interaction represents an opportunity for Australian retailers to increase their use of online technologies to respond competitively and provide a more compelling offering for Australian consumers.”

Google suggests small businesses make use of online technologies across desktop and mobile to create more compelling reasons for consumers to interact with local retailers.

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