Almost two-thirds of Australian consumers (62%) now demand real-time visibility of their online Christmas purchases, according to new research by mobile and IoT device management solutions provider, SOTI.

The study, From Bricks to Clicks: State of Mobility in Retail 2021 Report, discovered that a further 52% of consumers agree that, when Christmas shopping, they should be able to collect any order placed online, in-store and on the same day. A further 59% said that when Christmas shopping, they should be able to buy the same item again, either online or in-store, at the click of a button.

“The Christmas peak shopping period is strenuous and competitive, which is why retailers need to start preparing now for Christmas 2021, to ensure they are prepared from both a stock and resourcing perspective, according to SOTI vice president of sales, Michael Dyson.

“Looking at the Christmas online shopping preferences of Australian consumers today, our research has highlighted an increased demand for convenience, with calls for visibility of orders at every moment, and the option for quick click and collect or delivery,” he said.

With convenience being a top priority, four in 10 (40%) stated that if a retailer’s delivery or pick-up window was more than two days, they would look elsewhere.

A good returns experience is also key for the majority of consumers, with 57% saying they were more likely to buy from an online retailer that communicated an easy returns process during the Christmas period. Additionally, 60% of consumers agree that an automated returns process would make the experience faster and more convenient.  

“With over 5.6 million Australian households recorded to have shopped online during December 2020, and lockdowns and in-store retail shutdowns continuing to throughout 2021 in Australia, we can expect during the upcoming holiday season that shopping will again largely be done online,” Dyson added.

“After a very challenging 18 months for retailers, they need to ensure they are set up for online Christmas shopping convenience, so they can truly take advantage of the holiday peak and avoid losing out to competitors.”