It appears that Australia’s take up of multi-channel retailing is slow, with only approximately half of them currently offering some form of online sales capabilities, according to a study by Frost & Sullivan.

However, more than one third (36 per cent) of Australia retailers reveal that they in fact do regard online retailing as an opportunity rather than a threat, suggesting that we’ll see the adoption of online services increase during the next year.

They see online retailing as an opportunity to expand their customer base by providing an alternative way to shop, encourage more people to come into their store and provide an additional means of customer service.

The research found one of the key reasons that Australia lags in adopting online trading in comparison to markets such as the US and UK is a lack of online presence by many larger Australian retail chains and department stores.

Nonetheless the outlook for online retailing growth amongst Australian retailers appears to be reasonably strong, with 53 per cent of retailers believing that their online sales will increase during 2012, whilst only 3 per cent believe they will decrease.

The outlook is more optimistic amongst larger chains. However the expected rate of increase in online sales in 2012 is relatively modest, with the majority of retailers believing online sales will increase by less than 10 per cent.

The full ‘Australian Retailers e-Commerce Readiness: How cloud computing can open the door to multi-channel retailing’ whitepaper is available here.