By Aimee Chanthadavong

More evidence has been released showing brick and mortar retailers that online retailing is here to stay.

Getprice has released its 2011 shopping report, which identifies the online shopping habits and behaviours of over 3000 consumers who visit its site.

It found that while retailer websites were selected as the most used sites when researching or shopping online, it ranked fifth in terms of usefulness.

Getprice marketing director David Whiteman told Retailbiz there a clear indication that online retailing will only grow.

“It’s here to stay and growing quickly – 61 per cent of online consumers are shopping online at least once a week, nearly 20 per cent are doing so every day,” he said.

The report found that there is opportunity for retailers to improve or establish their social media, mobile and website capabilities as marketing channels to attract consumers, such as through Twitter and Facebook. 

“If retailers ignore the online channel, they risk losing relevance with their customers. Online consumers use online media more than anything else,” Whiteman said.

“Nearly a quarter of them are already following brands or stores on social networks, 30% are shopping on their mobile phones. Ignoring these trends is like handing business to your competitors on a silver platter.”

It also revealed that price is not the only factor that consumers take into consideration during their purchasing decision process. Customer service, brand familiarity and user reviews are the most important types of information in the decision making process when researching or shopping online

“Providing a poor or limited consumer experience online just makes consumers look somewhere else and it’s easy to find better options online – it’s just a click away. That’s evident by how many sales are going to international retailers online. They simply provide better service online and more options,” Whiteman said.

“Retailers need to adopt an ‘open’ approach to online retailing and then systematically work out the best way to make all channels work together. The only way you achieve that is to test and learn. Everything they do should begin with the customer and how they can make life better for them.”