'Tis the season to buy online

Sandi Atkins tapping into the hugely popular JB Hi-fi online store.
Sandi Atkins tapping into the hugely popular JB Hi-fi online store. John Gass

WITH no queues, hunting for a parking space or screaming children, it is easy to see why online shopping is beginning to take off.

Dr Simon Pervan, senior lecturer of marketing and consumer research at Southern Cross University, said online shopping was the way of the future.

“Now that big retailers such as Big W and JB Hifi are emerging online, people are developing a personal trust with these brands and feel safer shopping online,” Dr Pervan said.

“Smaller brands however, that are a niche in the market and offer more unique items should not have to worry too much, as people will still continue to seek out these items in-store.”

Dr Pervan said convenience was the appeal of online shopping use, especially during the festive season. But he believed “brick and mortar” shopping would always outweigh the “clicks and mortar” of online retail.

The Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) has reported Christmas retail spending has been disappointing so far, while online shopping websites appear to be booming.

“Spending levels are expected to be about the same as 2009 – a slow year by retailing standards,” ANRA chief executive officer Margy Osmond said.

Ms Osmond said recent surveys showed about 12 per cent of Australians planned to do most of their shopping online this Christmas.

JB Hi Fi has had huge success with its online store and now Woolworths has made the move online, with its liquor retailer Dan Murphy's eliminating the phone-order service to make way for its online store.

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