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ROI.com.au

Posted by ROI.com.au

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Online Retail Consumer Statistics 2011

Almost two million Australians made weekly purchases online last year

Retail industry data trends continue to demonstrate the value of integrating search engine marketing into any marketing strategy. Key numbers continue to stack up in favour of the internet and search engines as a sales & marketing channel.

The latest data from Nielsen and iab Australia reveals that Australian consumers rely heavily on the internet at several points in their purchasing decision – even if the final purchase is made in-store. Therefore the internet presents Australian businesses with the opportunity to influence consumers at every stage of that cycle – provided they have a strong presence online.

The internet isn’t just a sales portal – it’s the preferred research and evaluation tool

The internet is the primary resource for follow-up research – offering retailers a second opportunity to make an impression on their target market and reinforce the value proposition presented in store.

In the online world, search engines such as Google continue to dominate as a means for retrieving information on a product or business, outperforming social media and (paid) online advertising channels by 7:1 and 5:1 respectively.

Interestingly, what motivates people to conduct research is price; product information; consumer reviews and the reputation of the business they are considering for their next transaction.

Across all of these motivational factors, the internet was the preferred source of information by a considerable margin. In fact, the internet outperforms all ‘traditional’ media forms as a research resource by at least 2:1.

Visibility on the internet is more than just an online store

Reliance on search engines amongst consumers underpins the need for retailers to establish and maintain a significant presence in Google search results and through online social circles. This data reinforces the notion that search engine optimisation (SEO) is now a mainstream marketing activity all retailers should be considering, regardless of whether they ever intend to sell online.

Australian businesses intent on significant growth in 2012 and beyond must consider a holistic approach to their online presence. Online advertising through AdWords has immediate relevance but building a brand that people trust requires a strategic outlook.

Positive reinforcement of your value proposition through your website, blog, social media channels, guest blogging opportunities and rewarding online reviews will help to ensure that your online reputation mirrors the one you have successfully built online.