It appears that online shopping is an inevitable evolution in the retail market that retailers are going to have to adjust to.

A new survey from the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA)  showed that at least three quarters of Australians used the internet to help them out with their shopping in the past three months

ANRA CEO Margy Osmond said the continuing strength of the Australian dollar, time-poor Australians using the web to search for Christmas gifts and the consumer drive for a bargain had contributed to the trend, with 65 per cent of those shopping online making some of their purchases from overseas websites.

“Almost 40% quoted the dollar as the reason for their overseas internet buy, while 27% said it was because of product availability,” she said.
“Online shopping on overseas sites remains a challenge for the retail sector and reflects general changes in consumer behaviour post-GFC where bargain hunting has been rife.”

The survey also examined people’s spending intentions in 2011, with 87 per cent indicating they will spend the same as in 2010, or less, setting the sector up for another disappointing year. 
“While it’s a concern that 45% of the 1000 Australians surveyed intend to shop at the same levels as 2010, even more of a worry is the high number (42%) who plan to reduce their spending,” Osmond said.
“Women are more likely to be conserving their discretionary spend than men, but across the board all age groups will steer clear of spending this year.
“The trend to shop only when bargains are available continues. Almost half of those surveyed said they would not shop unless a deal was on offer. About 48% said they would only be tempted to shop when there was a sale.
“Despite a good start, it seems Boxing Day sales weren’t enough to keep people in-store with almost two-thirds saying they had not been tempted by some of the best bargains retailers had put on the shelves in many years.”