Bargain hunting Aussies want deals not engagement

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 7 November 2014

Shoppers want good deals on products and aren't fussed about brand engagement, according to a new study.

The latest Bankwest Online Behaviour report has found that Aussies are a nation of online deal-hunters and are most likely to look for a discount, rather than engagement with preferred brands.

Paradoxically, more than half (54%) of respondents believe that offering special deals is a way for brands to increase online engagement with their customers.

Bankwest executive general manager in retail, Andrew Whitechurch, said never before has the customer had so much power, and never before has the online world been so complex for retailers.

“Today’s customers have become sales people,while aggregator sites have become the product catalogues of this generation,” Whitechurch said.

“Gone are the days where the majority of purchase decisions were driven by brand preference and traditional marketing.”

The report showed that online advertisements are an effective way of driving traffic and purchases, with a large majority of respondents visiting a website or a store based on an advertisement and purchasing an item based on an advertisement (76%) at least sometimes.

The survey also found that purchasing decisions are driven by customer reviews and consumer advocacy sites.

Almost four in five respondents are likely to commit to a purchase decision after reading a favourable brand review online. In comparison, close to three in four are deterred from a purchase decision after reading a negative online brand review.

Further highlighting the power of consumers in online purchases of products and services, consumer advocate organisations, comparison sites and peer review sites are most likely to be trusted by and influence Australians.

More than eight out of 10 people read email alerts or updates on special deals and more than three-quarters search for promotions or discount codes. A total of 55% of online Australian shoppers say they are looking for the best deal, rather than engagement with preferred brands.

More than half (54%) of respondents also believe that offering special deals is a way for brands to increase online engagement with their customers. It was the stay-at-home parents that have the greatest appetite for online deals - with the study finding that 90% of this group are most likely to read email alerts or updates on special deals. The research was carried out in July and August this year by CoreData, via an online survey sent to 950 Australian internet users aged 18 years and upwards.

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