Economy

Online shoppers reduce spending, stick to local websites

SmartCompany /

Australian and New Zealand online consumers are slowing spending and preferring to shop on home-grown sites.

Australian and New Zealand online consumers are slowing spending and preferring to shop on home-grown sites.

As the local dollars plunged during the quarter ending December 2008, digital marketing solution provider Coremetrics found that the conversion rate for online sales in Australia and New Zealand has dropped to just 2.9 and 2.5 orders per 100 online sessions respectively, compared with 4.4 and 4 respectively between the months of April and June 2008.

Kevin Mackin, GM for Coremetrics for Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), believes this change in behaviour is a clear indication that online consumers are feeling the pinch of the exchange rate when considering buying online from overseas websites.

“ANZ online consumers are definitely more cautious in their spending at the moment and are looking for bargains closer to home. That said, both countries are experiencing the next highest conversion rates behind the US.”

But while these consumers may be purchasing less frequently than when the dollar was strong, they’re still significantly ahead of their UK and Singapore counterparts. The conversion rate for Singapore is 0.9 orders per 100 online sessions and 1.4 for the UK, both well below the world average of 3.2 orders.

“I think this data shows that Aussies and Kiwis are consistently relying on the net for shopping alternatives even during tough times,” Mackin continued. “While we might be spending slightly less time browsing and viewing less pages, the survey results show that e-commerce is a vital sales channel for many businesses today. Even when the chips are down, service providers and retailers need to constantly look for ways to engage customers and close sales online.”

The recent study undertaken by Coremetrics looked at the trends of e-commerce users across the UK, USA, Singapore, NZ and Australia from October to December 2008. Consumer activity was collated and analysed from more than 80 million web sessions and 750 million page views, which included 2.7 million orders collectively valued at more than $US200 million.

Results found that the global average session length was 5:04 minutes, with 9 page views per session, average orders to the value of $US.26, and 3.2 orders per 100 sessions.

The Australian average session length was 5:46 minutes, with 7.1 page views per session, and average orders totalling $US.86.

In NZ, average session length was 5:39 minutes, with 7.4 page views per session, and average orders valued at $US.79.

Consumers in the US had average session lengths of 6:01 minutes, with 9.5 page views per session, average orders of $US.94 and 3.8 orders per 100 sessions.

UK consumers recorded average session lengths of 5:30 minutes, 6.2 page views per session, average orders of $US.90 and 1.4 orders per 100 sessions.

Singaporeans were the biggest spenders, with average orders valued at $US98.22 from session lengths of 5.22 minutes, 7.4 page views per session and 0.9 orders per 100 sessions.

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