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Online shopping research 

Online shopping is increasing rapidly in Australia, with more and more Australians buying goods and services over the internet. This increase in online retail has also resulted in an increased number of complaints to Fair Trading about online shopping matters.

To better understand this growing issue, Fair Trading commissioned market research into the attitudes of Australian consumers and businesses towards online shopping and their knowledge of security precautions and consumer rights.

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Background to the research

The market research was conducted in September 2012 by Stancombe Research on behalf of NSW Fair Trading. It consisted of two online surveys of:

  • 1,000 NSW consumers, and
  • 200 NSW small to medium businesses.

Key research findings

Some of the key findings of this research are:

  • The three most important reasons driving consumers to shop online are lower prices, convenience and availability of a wider choice of goods.
  • The main reasons for small to medium businesses selling online include reaching a larger number of consumers and providing greater convenience for the shopper.
  • 74% of consumers shop online entirely or mostly from Australian businesses.
  • 47% of consumers and 58% of small to medium businesses incorrectly believe that Australian Consumer Law also applies to purchases from private sellers.
  • 32% of consumers and 40% of small to medium businesses say they don’t know who is responsible for goods that are lost or damaged in transit.
  • 48% of small to medium businesses do not use a secure webpage for payments or collecting personal details.
  • 24% of consumers use a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet to shop online.

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