Omnichannel strategies are set to scale drastically, with almost 8 in 10 (79%) Australian marketing decision-makers in the retail and consumer goods industries looking to implement or further invest in seamless customer experiences, according to new research from ShopFully and Nielsen Media Analytics.

The commissioned survey found that 95% of respondents believe bricks-and-mortar storefronts will continue to have a future, despite the evolution of digital shopping channels.

While the physical store remains a priority, almost half (49%) of marketing decision-makers surveyed will increase their spending on digital platforms such as websites, cross-media marketing and mobile apps by more than 25% in the next three years.

The findings demonstrate how the retail industry is set to embrace the rise of the unified shopping experience, according to ShopFully country manager of Australia, Dean Vocisano.

“Australian retailers and brands were quick to adopt and optimise digital mediums throughout the pandemic, with Click & Collect, delivery on in-store and online purchases, and online stock checks among the most adopted features,” he said.

“The challenge now is to better integrate outdated, multichannel marketing models to support a seamless checkout experience for Aussie consumers who are making fewer shopping trips but with larger baskets.”

More than seven in ten (73%) of the retail industry professionals surveyed find app prompts or notifications to be an effective proximity marketing tool. Respondents across all three industry streams (in-house retail, brand and agency) identified social media ads as the most effective proximity marketing tool (78%), followed by personalised emails (73%), and Google ads (74%).

Unanimously, increased foot traffic (51%), increased customer loyalty (47%) and better efficiency in targeting consumers close to the physical store (47%) were identified as the most important reasons for implementing proximity marketing activities. In fact, nine in ten (90%) brands, and seven in ten (71%) retailers said geo-personalised messages are effective.

The vast majority (81%) of brand marketers surveyed attribute a significant portion of their revenue to catalogues. However, investment in paper catalogues is set to decline, with over one-quarter of retail (26%) and agency (28%) respondents stating they are unlikely to invest in the physical medium over the next three to five years.

Instead, the industry is increasing spend on digital catalogues more than any other media channel, with four in five (78%) respondents currently investing in this format. Specifically, the retailer and brand marketers surveyed spend, on average, over 20% of their overall marketing budget on digital catalogues, making it the biggest budget voice alongside television advertisements. Boosting the frequency of consumer purchases (24%) and driving foot traffic in-store (22%) were respondents’ top reasons for this investment.